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The houses are decorated, the air is chilly and the kids are vibrating with excitement throughout our community by now. The holidays are here, with their full-speed ahead pace and a background of familiar music. As we look for the perfect gifts for friends and relatives, it’s also time to make a shopping list for this place where we all live. Here are a few things you can do this year:
1. Sing the praises of our town to everyone who will listen. Many of us will be talking to folks who live in other places. Tell them the reasons you live here, and let them know about the great lifestyle we enjoy.
2. Light your house, your neighborhood and the entire town—not just with electricity but with enthusiasm for making our community a better place to live. Let your kids see … Read More »
The challenges faced by Native communities in providing and maintaining an adequate housing inventory and preparing families for home ownership will be addressed by a new South Dakota statewide coalition. Six of the state’s nine Indian reservations, including six representatives of housing authorities, gathered in July of 2013 to discuss housing issues and needs. In addition to USDA Rural Development, federal stakeholders included the Departments of Housing and Urban Development, Veterans Affairs and Indian Health Service. About 50 people gathered for a daylong working session to provide critical input on the goals and priorities of a proposed coalition.
“This meeting was a historic first step toward collectively working toward increased home ownership opportunities in Indian country,” said Elsie Meeks, USDA Rural Development State Director. “A coalition could support the partners on the ground; housing authorities; state, federal and tribal … Read More »
The Governors Office of Economic Development, regional planning districts and statewide organizations like Dakota Resources are all working for the cause of economic development. Why, then, do we need local committees? Shouldn’t economic development be left in the hands of professionals?
The fact is that when community development succeeds in a community like ours, it is usually because of the work of a local economic development group. And while professional economic development officials on the state and county level are helpful in connecting programs with people, without the local component our community will simply not have the spark it needs to grow.
So, given the vital importance of a local development organization, what makes these groups successful, and what do they do to keep things moving in a positive, prosperous direction?
1. Local groups understand their communities. The members of the organization represent … Read More »
The yellowing of leaves sends the first signal. Then an almost frosty morning rolls around and you notice suddenly that the sun is taking its time getting up these days. There are fewer robins and you start hearing geese moving south, joined by the other birds of summer, and you know. The season has changed. One day, you’re looking at summer and the next, autumn has arrived.
Of course the change of season, like every other change we face in life, doesn’t really happen overnight. Major shifts of light and temperature and nature herself are going on, working in the background, following a steady course toward a new beginning. And change in community development happens exactly the same way.
It starts with an awareness that it is time for a change, that we can make things better for our economy, our neighborhoods … Read More »
When we come together in community groups or committees working hard to make this a better place to live, we all know to start by asking questions. We try to focus on the issues at hand, define the parameters of our discussions, and we ask the questions that seem logical to us—What are we going to do? What is the right course of action to take? Where do we go from here? Our goal seems to be narrowing our field of vision to meet our challenges head-on.
What happens if, instead of trying to make our approach to any issue simple, we step back and look at the complexities of every community challenge? Before we proceed to possible solutions, we can gain valuable perspective by asking some “outside the box” questions.
We can start by asking, “What are we not seeing in … Read More »