This summer, North Tahoe-based Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation (TTCF) opened Community House in the heart of Kings Beach. “Once the site of the 1950’s Lake Air Motel, Community House offers office and counseling rooms for critical social services; North Tahoe Family Resource Center, Project MANA (food bank) and Tahoe SAFE Alliance, Placer County Mental Health Services and the Women Infant Children program under one roof,” notes Stacy Caldwell, CEO, Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation.
“Before Community House, our clients had to access services in various places which can be very stressful. Now, in one location, we offer a family or individual a wide range of resources in an integrated way which greatly improves wellness outcomes,” commented Amy Kelley, Executive Director of the North Tahoe Family Resource Center.
“Not only is Community House good for Lake Tahoe’s communities, it is proving to be a great example of leveraging private and public partnerships for environmental gain. Community House exemplifies an innovative approach to funding environmental redevelopment projects in the Basin,” states Supervisor Jennifer Montgomery of Placer County.
Creative social impact investing describes the strategy TTCF used to make Community House a reality. The Board of TTCF took a bold step in 2012 to deepen their community impact by leveraging funds from their $20M endowment to secure a low-interest loan offered by their investment advisor. The loan was a catalyst for garnering public and private dollars, in the form of donations, to transform a blighted 1950’s motel into modern, energy efficient community space.
Placer County stepped up early with commitments of Mental Health Services Act funds and North Lake Tahoe Resort Association closed out the Capital Campaign with a generous contribution from the Transit Occupancy Tax funds. In less than two years, through the tireless work of dozens of community volunteers and staff, $2.2 million was raised to transform the blighted motel and the surrounding site into a bright, welcoming place.
Along with attracting private and public investment to the dilapidated property, TTCF project team worked with TRPA to implement best management practices on the site. The 65 year-old building was upgraded to include state-of-the art storm water treatment systems, energy efficient heating, lighting, water, building design and furnishings. “People really started to take notice when the landscaping and BMPs were installed. The ‘campus’ came alive with people and Lake friendly landscaping,” said Patti Boxeth, former TTCF Board Chair and champions of the project.
“In addition to the state of the art BMPs, Community House is a great example of a community use building within walking distance to local homes, schools, and transit, and its new look is revitalizing the neighborhood. Community House lets us reinvent Tahoe’s inventory of old motel stock, redeveloping them into projects that benefit Lake clarity and the people that live, work and raise families here,” continues Placer County Supervisor Jennifer Montgomery, an early and enthusiastic Community House supporter.
To learn more about Community House and other innovative investments Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation is making to improve the Truckee-North Tahoe region, please visit: www.ttcf.net
Posted by FreshTracks Communications on 10/17/2014