Irresistible Community Builders, LLC presents: Rooted in Belonging 

By Tom & Carol Braford 

We are happy to see that St Louis’ Community Development Administration (CDA) has earmarked $400,000 for neighborhood improvement in their current round of grant programs. That would come out to just over $5,000 per neighborhood if it were divided evenly among the City’s 79 neighborhoods.

At ICB, we are focusing heavily on strengthening surrounding neighborhoods and turning neighborhood eyesores into oases. Since buyers and renters in our communities may not be familiar with the neighborhood they are moving into, we plan to meet with them and encourage them to become active in the neighborhood organizations. Our model, Just Post Carbon Communities of Practice, is meant to serve the surrounding neighborhood and the whole city and region, so we will invite the neighbors to become associate members of our communities.

We have budgeted money at both Arizmendi in the CWE and Hummingbird in Fox Park to assure that our buyers and renters can connect to the neighborhood organizations and to each other. Since they both have very successful and effective neighborhood organizations that are quite different in both their focus and make up of residents, we feel like this cross-fertilization will be beneficial to both neighborhoods. 

In addition, since we are developing both communities as state-of-the-art communities of practice focused on social, environmental and economic justice, we plan to offer training in subjects like sociocratic self- governance, non-violent conflict resolution, principles of Mondragon style cooperative ownership and diversity awareness. We will also do some community asset mapping to discover and harness community based human and other resources.

We are, therefore, asking for $5,000 CDA neighborhood Improvement grants in the CWE and Fox Park neighborhoods to be able to make these valuable internal community training programs available to anyone in the larger neighborhood who cares to participate.

If you have an eyesore in your neighborhood that you would like us to turn into a Just Post Carbon Community of Practice oasis and would like us to include that in our neighborhood improvement grant application, let us know.

We hope you can join us at Rooted in Belonging, the National Cohousing Conference, August 2-4, in Denver: https://www.cohousing.org

Contact: braford@sbcglobal.net