Adams State receives $400,000 HUD grant for community partnerships
A variety of community partnership projects planned by Adams State College will be fast-tracked, thanks to a $400,000 grant from the HUD Community Outreach Partnership Centers program (COPC), according to Mary Hoffman, Adams State Director of Community Partnerships.
"Adams State College will use the Housing and Urban Development grant to focus efforts in four distinct areas: business development, housing, arts and culture, and community organizing," Hoffman said. "We couldn't have gotten this grant without the support and in-kind commitments of our community partners. Support letters were obtained from City of Alamosa, San Luis Valley Development Resources Group, Valley Community Fund, and International Center for Sustainable Technology (ICAST.) We look forward to working with existing partners and developing new community relationships."
"Adams State is to be congratulated for winning this grant on the merits of the innovative programs being developed there," said U.S. Senator Wayne Allard. "As a Coloradoan, I am extremely proud of this institution, and as chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Transportation and Housing, which oversees HUD, I am happy that Adams State was awarded this grant, and to know this funding is being put to positive use."
The grant, combined with an earlier HUD grant of $600,000 for Hispanic Serving Institutions, will be used to convert the remaining portion of Adams State's former art building to foster community partnerships. The building was the college's original student center, built in the late '50s.
"Many of the projects defined in Adams State's grant proposal are already underway. This funding will assist Adams State College and its community partners to move forward on our goals more quickly," Hoffman said. "Because this grant program is open to every college across the United States, it is extremely competitive."
Only 13 institutions nationwide received the grants, including MIT, University of Arizona, and University of South Carolina Research Foundation. Adams State and two other institutions received the highest awards, $400,000.
Adams State will use the grant for such programs as a business training program in Spanish and one targeting high school students. Housing activities include providing credit counseling that will improve a person's chance of obtaining a home loan.
Art and culture activities focus around preserving the area's rich cultural arts through creation of increased exhibit opportunities, organizing an art coalition, presenting workshops for youth utilizing cultural artists, and creating documentaries on local artists.
Community organizing activities include coordinating a local solar association, and providing a range of support activities that promote civic responsibility and nonprofit education.
Designed to assist colleges and universities to work with their communities to meet local challenges, the HUD COPC program awarded a total of $6.3 million through its New Grants and New Directions grants for 2005.
Since 1994, COPC has awarded grants to help colleges and universities establish and operate COPCs to carry out outreach and applied research activities that will address problems of urban areas. The program also seeks to encourage structural changes, both within an institution and in the way the institution relates to its neighborhood.
By Julie Waechter