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St. Louis Vacancy Collaborative Newsletter
Welcome to the June issue of our newsletter! 

Read on for more detailed updates and continued ways to engage with the Vacancy Collaborative. 
Apply to Work With Us!
We're hiring for a year-long AmeriCorps VISTA position focused on research and capacity building. Activities will support the Vacancy Collaborative's efforts in three areas: how to strengthen our coalition, sustain it for the long term, and implement our action strategy to address vacancy in St. Louis. Apply here by July 8th or pass along the job description to someone you know!
Pledge Your Support!

The work of the Vacancy Collaborative includes a host of groups and hundreds of individuals engaging in creating a shared vision for addressing vacancy in St. Louis. The power of the Vacancy Collaborative is this diverse and growing coalition of partners, and we want to recognize your involvement! Head to to join our network so we can recognize your involvement.

The pledge does not require financial support; simply sign on to our shared values and commit to being part of the solution in our collective work. By taking the pledge you’re joining the diverse community that is working to address vacancy, improve our communities, and build a shared vision for the future.

Vacancy Collaborative Workshop Recap
On May 21st, the Vacancy Collaborative hosted a workshop to discuss our collective progress and share goals for reducing vacancy in St. Louis. We had 130 attendees connecting, learning and sharing. It was a great event!
Photos by Chuck Ramsay for Legal Services of Eastern Missouri. Click here to learn more about Legal Services' Neighborhood Vacancy Initiative. 
The morning workshop covered a lot of ground, including:
  • welcome remarks from Mayor Lyda Krewson and SLACO Board President (and VAC co-chair) Sundy Whiteside,
  • presentations and breakout discussions on the activities of the six Vacancy Collaborative working groups,
  • an update on our Vacancy Action Strategy and next steps, and
  • a highlight for many: 20 different lightning round presentations on incredible vacancy projects and programs happening around the city.
Here are all of our wonderful speakers in action!
Photos by Chuck Ramsay for Legal Services of Eastern Missouri. Click here to learn more about Legal Services' Neighborhood Vacancy Initiative. 
Thank you to everyone who joined us for an inspiring morning of presentations and conversation! Thanks especially to our event hosts, Bob Lewis and Sundy Whiteside (who also happen to be the co-chairs of our Vacancy Advisory Committee), to our working group leaders, and to our volunteers who presented, managed breakout discussions and continue to move the work of the Vacancy Collaborative forward.
Click below to view or download a copy of the presentation slides from the STL Vacancy Collaborative Workshop:
Working Groups
For up-to-date details on all the working groups, you can always visit our events page for more information. 

Vacancy Data
Tuesday, June 25 from 4:30 - 6:00 pm
UMSL at Grand Center, 3651 Olive St, Room 104 (the Learning Studio)
Questions or to be added to the group email list: Andrea Burr at

Marketing & Engagement
Thursday, June 20 from 12:00 - 1:30 pm
SLU Law, 100 N. Tucker Blvd, Room 116
Questions or to be added to the group email list: Dana Malkus at


Thursday, June 27 from 6:00 - 7:30 pm
O'Fallon Park YMCA, 4343 West Florissant Ave
Questions or to be added to the group email list: Matt Ampleman at

Vacancy Prevention
Thursday, July 18 from 4:00 - 5:30 pm
Legal Services of Eastern Missouri, 4232 Forest Park Avenue
Questions or to be added to the group email list: Peter Hoffman at


Reinvestment and Reuse
Tuesday, Aug 6 from 10:00 - 11:30 am
UMSL at Grand Center, 3651 Olive St, Room 104 (the Learning Studio)
Questions or to be added to the group email list: Vince Schoemehl at


Stabilization, Maintenance, & Demolition
Date and Time TBD. 
SLDC, 1520 Market St, Boardroom, 2nd Floor
Questions or to be added to the group email list: Laura Ginn at
Other Community News & Events

Fill out by June 21: Complete the national survey on maintaining and greening vacant property

The Center for Community Progress is partnering to conduct a National Survey on greening vacant property. If you own, green, or maintain vacant property, they want to hear from you! More responses means more detailed information about emerging trends, more best-practices to share, and more results that showcase the value and impact of vacant property care across the U.S.

June 22 (and later dates): Community Coalition Workshops for Residents

The Violence Prevention Commission is offering four free workshops designed to empower residents to make change within their community by teaching them the skills associated with neighborhood leadership & collaboration. Starts on Saturday June 22. Neighbors must register in advance because there is an assessment that needs to be completed prior to the first session. Not required to attend all four sessions. 
Registration is required.

June 27: Center for Community Progress Webinar: Collaborative Approaches for Safe Places 
LISC Safety & Justice will present on their model of collaborative problems solving to address neighborhood crime and safety challenges, including discussion of why we should concentrate on place, the problems solving process, the roles of community partners, and what success can look like.
Register for this free webinar.

June 27: Greencubator Grand Opening 
Come tour multiple levels of entrepreneurship literally growing!
Join Justine PETERSEN, Good Life Growing, St. Louis Indoor Produce - SLIP, and Freddie Lee's American Gourmet Sauce for the GRAND OPENING of our Greencubator! Enjoy an evening of food, art and music celebrating St. Louis’ most recent addition to our ever growing incubator ecosystem- more information here

June 29: Operation Clean Sweep in Hamilton Heights
On Saturday, June 29, Operation Clean Sweep will be underway in Hamilton Heights. This unprecedented public-private partnership includes local businesses partnering with Better Family Life, the City of St. Louis, the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, and others to address blight in North St. Louis. On June 29th, several homes will be demolished and many blocks beautified. To sign up to help and join hundreds of fellow volunteers, visit Better Family Life's website

June 29: SLACO Trivia Night
Join the St. Louis Association of Community Organizations for a night of trivia at Saint John the Baptist Catholic Church: 4200 Delor Street, 63116. Details and registration here

Apply by July 1: Real Estate Diversity Initiative (REDI) 

REDI is a comprehensive, 15 session curriculum designed to advance the real estate careers of professionals of color and women. Thirty participants step into the role of a real estate developer, gaining direct knowledge and experience working in teams to produce a development plan, pro-forma, and marketing plan for a real project. Application deadline is July 1, 2019. Click here for program information and to apply.

July 17: Webinar, Inclusive Re-Use of Vacant Land: Opportunities for Innovation
As people and firms move back towards density, vacant or underutilized urban industrial, commercial and residential real estate is offering exciting opportunities for transformative developments which create jobs, business opportunities and amenities for surrounding communities. Please join three expert panelists to explore the leading-edge approaches to inclusive redevelopment of urban land. Register for the webinar here.

Aug 8: Resident Capacity Building Program for Neighborhood Development

Join Rise for a 3 part training for neighborhood and community leaders. Learn the tools needed so resident will have a say in the future of their communities. This training is provided for free. More details here.

Apply by Aug 30: Neighborhood Leadership Academy 
More than 300 community leaders from throughout the St. Louis region have participated in the Neighborhood Leadership Academy, learning the skills and building the networks to create whole communities.  The Academy provides hands-on leadership training that emphasizes community building principles and strategies, organizational leadership and management practices and personal leadership skills. More information here.

Submit your Events!
Have community news or events related to vacancy that you want to share with the Vacancy Collaborative community? Email to share your information for this newsletter. 
What is the Vacancy Collaborative?
The Vacancy Collaborative (VC) is a coalition of partners committed to the reduction of vacant property as a top priority in St. Louis. The VC is not a stand-alone entity, but a coalition of community representatives, private and non-profit stakeholders, and City agencies. The VC helps to coordinate existing vacancy efforts under one umbrella and encourages the public and private sectors to work together toward solutions in a comprehensive and coordinated way. Head to for more information.

Funding to support coordination of the Vacancy Collaborative was provided, in part, by Missouri Foundation for Health, the Missouri Department of Conservation, and the Community Builders Network of Metro St. Louis.
Copyright © 2019 Vacancy Collaborative, All rights reserved.

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