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Lodge Grass, Montana looks to transform town with funds from competitive grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

September 28, 2017View for printing

Lodge Grass https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lodge_Grass,_Montana is one of six communities in the nation to receive a grant from the "Raising Places" https://www.rwjf.org/en/library/fundi ... nities.html program, a project funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation https://www.rwjf.org/ that aims to improve the well-being of children in low-income communities.

The $60,000 grant will fund community planning activities for the next nine months and will allow her and the rest of the 12-person team identify and develop potential solutions to move the impoverished community forward, rather than simply focusing on the negatives.

More than 150 nonprofit organizations from across the country applied for the grant, according to the Chicago-based Greater Good Studio, which last week announced its selection of Bighorn Valley Health Center to oversee the grant program in Lodge Grass. The grant is focused on communities with "social, economic and/or physical challenges that negatively impact children," according to the organization's request for proposals.

SAM WILSON swilson@billingsgazette.com

http://billingsgazette.com/news/loca ... 5d755b.html

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This program is available to all Montana communities:

The BEAR program is supported by local community entities that provide staff and financial support so that local business owners and operators are able to access much needed resources allowing them to improve and/or expand their businesses.

The BEAR program pulls together local business and community leaders to form a volunteer assessment team to address local needs. Assessment team members are trained in both the assessment process and in interviewing. Local area businesses who request the free service are visited by interviewers from the Assessment Team to conduct on-site surveys of the issues and needs of their local business. After reviewing the confidential survey the Assessment Team connects the client business to state, area, and local resources that that will assist with the identified needs and issues.

The Governor's Office of Economic Development, Montana Department of Commerce, and Montana Economic Developers Association (MEDA) formed a partnership that allows Montana to be one of several states to make the Montana Business Expansion and Retention (BEAR) program available statewide.

http://marketmt.com/BEAR
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