Wellmark presents NeigborWorks Dakota Home Resources with $7,500 Award

DES MOINES, IA (June 8, 2015) — Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield presented NeighborWorks Dakota Home Resources with a $7,500 award for Willow Park. The award helped to create a safe place for young adults, children and families to enjoy, stay healthy, and be a part of the growth and future developments in Rapid City.

“The entire community came together to work on this great project,” said Stephany Valkenburg, NeighborWorks Dakota Home Resources. “The award from Wellmark allowed us to transform the empty space into a park that will fit everyone’s wants and needs.”

Willow Park, located on the corner of Lemmon Avenue and Monroe, will also host several activities. A few activities include reading in the park days and the College Park Block summer meetings. Future plans for the park include planting flowers on the corner of the park and installing a reading box. The boxes will be full of donated books that will be enjoyed by parents and children enjoying the space.

Willow Park was one of only 16 projects, from more than 100 entries, selected to receive $7,500. As part of its 75th anniversary celebration, Wellmark announced it awarded $7,500 to 16 projects that were able to demonstrate a long-lasting impact on making the healthy choice the easy choice, and improving overall community health and wellness. The public also had the chance to vote for their favorite project with more than 84,000 votes received during the voting period.

Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield presented NeighborWorks Dakota Home Resources with a $7,500 award for Willow Park.

Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield presented NeighborWorks Dakota Home Resources with a $7,500 award for Willow Park.

“We are pleased to present NeighborWorks Dakota Home Resources with this award,” said Stephany Perry, Wellmark. “The impact that Willow Park would have on improving the health and well-being of the community for years to come was clearly demonstrated. We commend the community for taking a proactive approach to making the healthy choice, the easy choice.”

To see how Wellmark celebrated its 75th anniversary including what Wellmark did each day during its “75 days. 75 ways.” campaign to encourage healthier and better lives for Iowans and South Dakotans, visit www.Wellmark.com/75.

Wellmark, Inc. (www.wellmark.com) does business as Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Iowa. Wellmark and its subsidiaries and affiliated companies, including Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Dakota and Wellmark Health Plan of Iowa, Inc., insure or pay health benefit claims for more than 2 million members in Iowa and South Dakota. Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Iowa, Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Dakota, and Wellmark Health Plan of Iowa, Inc. are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Blue Cross®, Blue Shield® and the Cross® and Shield® symbols are registered trademarks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an Association of Independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans. Wellmark® is a registered trademark of Wellmark, Inc.

NWDHR Celebrates 21 years of Community Involvement

neighborwors wee 2015

(June 1st-20th, 2015) On June 6th NeighborWorks America launches NeighborWorks Week, a weeklong celebration where thousands of volunteers come together to help make their neighborhoods healthy, sustainable places to work, play and call home. From June 1-8 across the country, individuals and families are working to build vibrant communities during NeighborWorks Week. NeighborWorks America, which creates opportunities for people to live in affordable homes, improve their lives and strengthen their communities, supports a network of more than 300 nonprofits, located in every state.

Local non-profit NeighborWorks Dakota Home Resources is celebrating their 21st year of NeighborWorks Week and is encouraging volunteers to participate.   NeighborWorks Dakota Home Resources has a variety of events to encourage community engagement.  NeighborWorks Week events include Central City Plant Swap, Tri City Treasures, Trash, and Cash, Rapid City – Art in the Park, Trolley on the Trail, and Paint the Town.  Each event brings residents together and celebrates our community.

June 1st through June 20th NeighborWorks® Dakota Home Resources is partnering with South Dakota Housing Development Authority to sponsor the 21st annual Paint the Town event. Volunteers will scrap, paint and prime eight homes in eight communities for homeowners in need. NeighborWorks and volunteers will be painting homes in Rapid City, Sturgis, Spearfish, Belle Fourche, Edgemont, Deadwood, and Lead.

NeighborWorks Dakota Home Resources is accepting sponsors and volunteers for Paint the Town.

  • Paint the Town
    • June 6th- Rapid City, Deadwood, Lead, Belle Fourche
    • June 13th- Sturgis, Spearfish
    • June 20th- Edgemont

NeighborWorks Dakota Home Resources has also organized community events that encourage residents to meet their neighbors and enjoy the out doors.

June 2nd, NeighborWorks® Dakota Home Resources will celebrate their 13th Annual Trolley on The Trail Event. The combined effort consists of the use of the trail from the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks, use of a Trolley from the City of Deadwood and reservations taken by NeighborWorks® Dakota Home Resources.  The Trolley on the Trail is a combined endeavor to give disabled or handicapped people access to the Mickelson Trail. Thanks to sponsorships with local businesses, this ride is provided free of charge.

Saturday June 6th, the College Park Block Club and NeighborWorks are hosting their first annual NeighborWorks Week Celebration at College Park. The event will celebrate the accomplishments of Paint the Town and bring the community together by hosting a picnic, games, a bouncy castle and a bench building workshop.  The public is welcomed and encouraged to attend.

NW WEEK 2015 FINAL POSTER

Saturday, June 20th, NeighborWorks® Dakota Home Resources and the Central City Neighborhood Council will host the 8th annual “Community Plant Exchange” at the Pizza Lab in Central City. Attendees will have the opportunity to exchange extra plant items with their neighbors.   New and experienced gardeners are welcomed and encouraged to join in on this great community event.  Attendees are not required to bring exchange items to participate. The Plant Exchange will also be hosting a Food Drive for the Lord’s Cupboard in Lead.

June 20th is also the date for the annual Treasures, Trash & Cash tri-city rummage sale.  Locations will be published in the Black Hills Pioneer the week prior to the event.  If you would like to add your address to the map contact the NeighborWorks office before June 5th, 2015.

NeighborWorks Dakota Home Resources has been committed to our communities throughout Western South Dakota for over twenty years.  Thousands of volunteers have participated in NeighborWorks Week and have created strong, vibrant and resilient communities.  Please contact Stephany or Molly at 605-578-1401 to learn how you can get involved.

About NeighborWorks® Dakota Home Resources: NeighborWorks® Dakota Home Resources is a private nonprofit organization that has been assisting in providing decent, safe and affordable housing and revitalizing neighborhoods for twenty years. NeighborWorks® has helped more than 1,000 families realize their dream of home ownership by providing decent, safe and affordable housing throughout Western South Dakota communities.

Building Communities Together

Rapid City, SD – Children and adults gathered on Saturday April 4th, 2015 at College Park to celebrate Easter and bring the community together.

Over 200 people attended the College Park Easter Egg Hunt.  Attendees enjoyedsearching for eggs, planting flowers, flying kites, and a jumping castle.

College Park 3

“Our goal was to provide youth a healthy environment to enjoy Easter and encourage them to get outside and play. We cannot thank the volunteers and donors enough for helping making this event such a success.“ NeighborWorks Dakota Home Resources Marketing Director and event organizer, Stephany Valkenburg, stated.

The event was organized by the Bringswhite family, The College Park Block Club, NeighborWorks Dakota Home Resources, and supported merely through donations from local organizations and individuals.

Erik & Morgan Bringswhite goal to give back to the community and ensure that many children would have a Happy Easter happened thanks to the commitment of community members.  “We gave from the heart and what we received in return is Priceless; smiling happy children. The Children Be The Reason!” stated Erik Bringswhite.

College Park Easter 2

The event organizers would like to thank everyone that came out and helped create such an awesome day.  This was the First Annual College Park Easter Egg Hunt, and we can’t wait to do it again next year!

For more information on the College Park Easter Egg hunt or to learn how you can get involved please contact Stephany at 605-923-6007.

Homeownership For All Stages of Life

Wayne and Beverly Stuen started thinking of home ownership when they moved back to Western South Dakota. They had owned a home prior to moving East River, but due to the high cost they decided renting was a more feasible option.

For nearly a decade the Stuen’s rented a house, and up until they moved into their new two-bedroom South Dakota Governors House they were living in their RV camper.

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“We really started thinking about home ownership to have more stability. I wanted to make sure that Bev would always have a home if something happened to me, and vice versa if something happened to her.” Wayne explained.

To create a home ownership opportunity that would fit within the Stuen’s budget they utilized Dakota Land Trust. Dakota Land Trust takes the cost of land out of the purchase price and the land is placed into the stewardship of the trust. Dakota Land Trust creates a permanently affordable home ownership opportunity and ensures that the Stuen’s will be able to afford their investment.

The Stuen’s two bedroom, two bath, one car garage and large porch is a South Dakota Governors House. In 1996, the Governor’s House program was created as a way to provide reasonably sized, affordable homes to income-qualified individuals and families. The Governors House provides a quality, low-cost, low-maintenance, energy efficient place to call home.

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Dakota Land Trust, paired with the South Dakota Governors House created an affordable home ownership opportunity that was within the Stuen’s budget.

They utilized USDA Rural Developments 502 Mortgage Program to help create an affordable monthly mortgage payment.The 502 Direct Loan Program, assists low- and very-low-income applicants obtain decent, safe and sanitary housing in eligible rural areas by providing payment assistance to increase an applicant’s repayment ability. With a longer term loan and monthly subsidy based on an applicant’s income allows for more families to achieve their dream of home ownership.

Together NeighborWorks® Dakota Home Resources, Dakota Land Trust, USDA Rural Development, South Dakota Housing Development Authority created a safe, decent and affordable home ownership opportunity for the Stuen’s.

About NeighborWorks® Dakota Home Resources: NeighborWorks® Dakota Home Resources is a private nonprofit organization that has been assisting in providing decent, safe and affordable housing and revitalizing neighborhoods for twenty years. NeighborWorks® has helped more than 1,000 families realize their dream of home ownership. NeighborWorks® Dakota Home Resources provides decent, safe and affordable housing throughout the Western South Dakota communities.

NeighborWorks® Dakota Home Resources is accepting applications for Paint the Town

Paint the Town 2015

March 31st, 2015 – NeighborWorks® Dakota Home Resources is accepting applications for Paint the Town throughout Western South Dakota. NeighborWorks® is accepting applications in Spearfish, Lead, Central City, Deadwood, Belle Fourche and Sturgis.

Sponsored by South Dakota Housing “Paint South Dakota Program” provides selected applicants with a fresh coat of paint for their home. Selected homes must be owner occupied and the owner must be physically or financially unable to paint their home. Volunteers will be painting the selected homes the first two weeks of June. Applications are due by April 10th, 2015.

NeighborWorks® Dakota Home Resources is a private non-profit organization that has assisted over 100 homeowners paint their homes through the Paint the Town event. For more information on the Paint the Town please contact Molly at NeighborWorks Dakota Resources office before April 10th, 2015.

Paint the Town 2013- Rapid City  (22)

NeighborWorks and Optima LLC Restore Deadwoood Home

NeighborWorks® Dakota Home Resources is pleased to announce the Shea House previously located at 366 Main St. has been successfully renovated at its new location in the Peck Gardens neighborhood.

In March of 2014, Optima LLC donated the Shea house to NeighborWorks® Dakota Home Resources under the conditions that NeighborWorks® assisted with the relocation and restoration of the property.

NeighborWorks Dakota Home Resources successfully completed the renovations and sold the home to a family in Deadwood.
Built in 1948 by Jim and Lillian Shea, the Shea House was fully renovated with modern electrical and plumbing, beautifully restored wood floors, a new kitchen and bathroom, new siding and roofing plus the addition of an oversized one car garage. This home is now located on a beautiful lot in the Peck Gardens neighborhood.

Lillian Shea’s nieces Pat Carstensen at the newly renovated home. " “Our family is thankful that NeighborWorks® was a part of the restoration process and are excited that a new family will enjoy the home in a safe residential neighborhood.”

Lillian Shea’s nieces Pat Carstensen at the newly renovated home. ” “Our family is thankful that NeighborWorks® was a part of the restoration process and are excited that a new family will enjoy the home in a safe residential neighborhood.”

Paul Bradsky, with Optima LLC., stated that he is very impressed with the completed project and updated home. “The Bradsky Family is just so pleased at the job NeighborWorks has done restoring this house. We know that countless hours have gone into making this house a home again. What a testament to the mission of NeighborWorks and the team that works there! We believe Jim and Lillian would be more than pleased that this house is going to be utilized as a home to another family in Deadwood. Great job!”

Lillian Shea’s nieces Aileen Brunner and Pat Carstensen also expressed gratitude to the restoration of the home. “Our family is thankful that NeighborWorks® was a part of the restoration process and are excited that a new family will enjoy the home in a safe residential neighborhood.”

Lillian Shea’s nieces Aileen Brunner and NeighborWorks Executive Director- Joy McCracken.

Lillian Shea’s nieces Aileen Brunner and NeighborWorks Executive Director- Joy McCracken.

About NeighborWorks: NeighborWorks® Dakota Home Resources is a private nonprofit organization that has been assisting in providing decent, safe and affordable housing and revitalizing neighborhoods for twenty years. NeighborWorks® has helped more than 1,000 families realize their dream of homeownership. For more information on NeighborWorks® Dakota Home Resources contact 605-578-1401 or visit us on the web at www.nwdhr.org