Grand Forks Housing Authority

Learning Log

Grand Forks Housing Authority

Interim Report
Report date
October 31, 2016
Grant term
November 01, 2015
October 31, 2020
In recognition of winning a 2015 Bush Prize for Community Innovation, this grant will advance this organization's charitable mission
Changes because of the Bush Prize
During our first year as Bush Prize recipients the GFHA has made a commitment to create a more satisfying, enriching environment for staff so they can solve issues and serve clients as creatively and efficiently as possible. Investments have included additional training, longevity pay, improved equipment and work spaces, and remodeling of our front entrance to create a safer environment for our front-end staff to work. By creating a better work environment, we hope our programs will continue to grow and serve even more households in need in our region.
Impact on your field
GFHA has always lived by a "yes, if" philosophy rather than "no, because." When presented with new ideas, we say "yes, we can do that if..." and we research all options. Having such a substantial amount of funding come in without specific obligations has allowed us to say "yes, if" to many projects or ideas currently in the works. We are developing a better work environment and continually looking for ways to improve our processes. Removing the barrier of financial burden on small improvements has made a significant difference in our ability to simply say "yes, we can do that."
Goals for Bush Prize funds
We have the following goals we hope to accomplish with the help of Bush Prize grant funds: 1. Enrich employees through an improved work environment and appreciation methods, encouraging longevity and improved service to our stakeholders. 2. Enhance customer service through new technology and improved day-to-day operations. 3. Enhance GFHA's signature programs, helping them reach full potential and serve more members of the community. 4. Develop and establish social enterprise endeavors, creating improved service for clients and an additional revenue stream to support charitable efforts. 5. Provide additional training and access to information for board members, engaging them more in GFHA's process and mission. 6. Support partner organizations and their development, particularly those originated by GFHA.
Use of Bush Prize funds so far
84% of funds to date have been spent on employee and board enrichment. Areas of focus included the start of an employee longevity pay structure, equipment/furniture upgrades, transition to new e-mail and calendar software, and remodeling of our front entry area and our restrooms to include safety and accessibility upgrades. Remaining Year 1 expenditures ($19,851.96) provided support to partner organizations, specifically two programs that originated at the GFHA: Grand Forks Community Land Trust and LaGrave on First, a permanent supportive housing - housing first project planned to open in 2018.
Plans for remaining Bush Prize funds
We look forward to improving the efficiency of our current work so that we can look forward to additional social enterprise endeavors. Ideally, GFHA will expand programs like our Pest Elimination division so that they are not only providing a service to the community, but also bringing in additional funds to support our mission. GFHA is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2017 and will spend Bush grant dollars on additional marketing and storytelling during that celebration. We hope to partner with local media outlets and artist (writers, photographers, etc.) to share this story within our community and beyond.