Building Connections between Sustainability Efforts and Neighborhoods in Need

Year Complete: 2015
Grant Amount: $55,000
Local Government: City of Dubuque, IA
Local Foundation: Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque

Project Purpose

To build new connections between Dubuque’s sustainability efforts (Sustainable Dubuque) and low-income families living in at-risk neighborhoods through the Green & Healthy Homes Initiative (GHHI).

Key Lessons Learned

Lessons learned about tools and tactics through the project that other sustainability directors could use to advance their work. 

  • Be sure to streamline information about the various programs from various agencies to avoid concerns about differing definitions of the information and use.
  • Thoroughly train the home advocate and partners to navigate the all programs.
  • Engage the community personally. Home visits greatly increased success in obtaining enrollment in the program.

Lessons for developing a collaborative process between a local government sustainability director and local place-based foundation(s).

  • Sustainability programs need to have clear, effective tools/information geared for diverse audiences to increase access and participation. Families in poverty often need direct assistance to learn about the programs and register.
  • The network-mapping project informed Sustainable Dubuque’s work, connected to the city’s STAR Community work, and supported the Sustainable Dubuque Collaboration.
Additional Information and Resources

The Community Foundation engaged Sustainable Dubuque in the network mapping project and has future plans for a comprehensive community needs assessment. Funding from this grant has leveraged additional funding and in-kind resources that will continue to support the network-mapping project going forward.  More information on the Green & Healthy Homes initiative can be found here.