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VIBRANT COMMUNITIES

Impact Capital works with key neighborhood partners to help transform distressed communities into vibrant ones. Our approach recognizes that physical development, while critical, is not enough to create truly vibrant communities.

The goal of Vibrant Communities is to build capacity within communities so that they can:

1. Provide safe, decent affordable housing;

2. Promote vibrant commercial districts;

3. Increase family wealth and income;

4. Make neighborhoods safer and healthier; and

5. Strengthen civic institutions and local leadership.

In each Vibrant Community, we serve as a project manager, working in partnership with a community organization and the local government. We not only guide the process to ensure that activities are implemented effectively, but also provide financial and community resources, expertise, project management, connections to partners and technical assistance that help strengthen participating communities' skills and empower them to sustain their work over the long term. The local and national experience and relationships we bring allow us to serve as a valuable and trusted bridge between the efforts of the communities and the interests of funders and other community stakeholders.

To help participating communities accomplish their goals, each Vibrant Communities project is comprised of the following elements:

Comprehensive strategies – The cornerstone of the program is the development of a neighborhood action plan, which contains a variety of community-designed action items to be completed in a short-, mid- and long-term timeframe over a three- to five-year period.

Dedicated Leads – For each component of the action plan, staff or groups are identified to take responsibility for ensuring implementation of every activity. Impact Capital staff also spend dedicated time with these community leaders to support them in their efforts to make progress.

Partnerships – While a Vibrant Communities project’s activities are led by a local lead community organization, it is understood that no one agency can do everything. Public agencies, nonprofit organizations and area residents and employees must share investments in and responsibility for strengthening their neighborhoods.

Training – To bridge gaps in skills, Impact Capital offers peer-learning and training sessions throughout the year for stakeholders working on revitalization issues in their neighborhoods.

 

Commercial Corridors

Working with community development organizations and business associations, Impact Capital supports small businesses and commercial corridor revitalization to help integrate targeted neighborhoods into the larger economy.

International District neighborhood of Seattle

 

Only in Seattle

The Only in Seattle Program is a partnership between Impact Capital and the Seattle Office of Economic Development to support targeted neighborhood commercial districts within the city. The program focuses on working with lead agencies in these communities to create vibrant commercial districts, with the intention that a strong neighborhood commercial district will anchor other revitalization efforts. Click Here for an overview of Only in Seattle.

 

 

 

  • Capitol Hill:  12th Avenue Corridor
    Our partner Capitol Hill Housing is working on 12th Avenue to create a flourishing and cohesive 12th Avenue Business District that supports a mix of housing for all incomes, preserves opportunities for local businesses, and reflects neighborhood character. Their goal is to support the district’s continued growth while also preserving opportunities for arts, small businesses and low- to moderate- income wage earners.

  • Chinatown International District: King Street Corridor
    Our partner Seattle Chinatown International District Preservation and Development Authority is working in partnership with Interim Community Development Association on the King Street Corridor so that in 2030, Chinatown, Japantown, Little Saigon – The International District - will be one of the city’s most desirable places to live, work, shop and play. Strengthening the commercial vitality of neighborhood is vital to achieving that vision. Their goal is to increase the number of people who visit to shop, eat and experience the cultural offerings of the neighborhood.

  • Rainier Valley:   Graham/Othello transit nodes
    Our partner HomeSight is working to foster a strong, vibrant, and culturally diverse business community that is a destination, second to none, in the Pacific Northwest. Their goal is to retain a strong foundation of small businesses owned by and serving the diverse populations of people who make up the Rainier Valley community.

  • Only in Seattle Commercial Corridors
    We work with the OED Staff to provide technical assistance and guidance to all of the Only in Seattle grant recipients. Take a look at the Only in Seattle website to learn more about these engaging neighborhoods.

Working Together

Eight community development associations have formed a coalition, the Seattle Community Development Collaborative, to work together on issues impacting the neighborhoods they work in.  Check out their work in The Knowledge Bank Peer Networks.

 

Vibrant Communities:  White Center

Painters working on a mural in the White Center community of Seattle.

Impact Capital is partnering with the White Center Community Development Association to ensure that comprehensive community revitalization continues in White Center. Building on the groundwork laid by the Annie E Casey’s Foundation’s Making Connections initiative the White Center Action Plan is an integrated community plan with clear accountability measures, that strengthens civic engagement structures within the community, and helps community organizations accomplish the goals laid out in the plan.

The community created eight strategies for White Center:

  • Prepare and connect residents to family supporting jobs that provide career and wage advancement.
  • Help families save now and in the future to achieve their goals.
  • Provide children and families with resources and support to succeed in school.
  • Develop vacant and underutilized land into community-prioritized commercial, retail, arts/cultural uses and mixed-income housing.
  • Create an attractive, walkable neighborhood with great parks, community gathering spaces and public art that is easily accessible by bike and public transit.
  • Create a vibrant cultural and economic business district that provides affordable goods and services, employs local entrepreneurs and is supported by active community members.
  • Improve children and families’ health and wellness in homes, schools and the neighborhood.
  • Provide support, training and a range of opportunities for all residents of all ages to shape the neighborhood’s future.

 

Vibrant Communities:  Spokane International District

Mural in Spokane International District Impact Capital is partnering with the East Spokane Business Association, the East Central Community Organization, and the City of Spokane to revitalize a portion of the East Central neighborhood along Sprague.  The Spokane International District’s vision is a vibrant and culturally diverse business and retail district that preserves the unique local and historic character of the neighborhood. The easily accessible district is safe, inviting, and offers a variety of housing opportunities for people of all incomes.  

The District’s Action Plan created four strategies for attaining that vision:

  • Create a vibrant and culturally diverse destination commercial District;
  • Create an inviting and safe District for residents and businesses;
  • Preserve the unique and historic character of the District; and
  • Create an accessible neighborhood with diverse housing options and opportunities for people of all incomes.

 

Click below to watch a video about the Spokane International District.