Crown Square Revitilization

October 28, 2008
October 28, 2008

As we continue this running narrative we, here at KETC, want to continue to show some of the positive things that are going on in the community. One way we will do this is through highlighting some of the good work of our community partners. In the past we’ve talked about the work of organizations like Beyond Housing, the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, and Catholic Charities. Today we are focusing on the work of another partner.

One of our 25 community partners is the Regional Housing and Community Development Alliance (RHCDA). RHCDA is a nonprofit organization that creates and supports the alliances that make smart, sustainable neighborhood revilitization possible in the St. Louis region.

One of the projects they are working on is revilitizing the Old North St. Louis Crown Village. The cornerstone of this development is Crown Square, which according to the website:

is at the center of the Crown Village revitalization, recreating the “town center” of the community with the historic rehab of 27 buildings into 80 historic loft, apartment and “live/work” units, and 34,000 square feet of commercial space on the former pedestrian mall and adjacent streets. The $32 million comprehensive revitalization includes the re-opening of 14th Street from Warren to St. Louis Avenue, reconnecting this local commercial district with the surrounding neighborhood. The development will also include the installation of new street and pedestrian lighting, public green spaces and landscaping, and a “transit plaza” that will facilitate ease of use and transfer of vehicular, pedestrian, bicycle, and public bus transportation. The development will enhance the “walkability” of the neighborhood and solidify the goal of maintaining economic diversity in the community.

To learn more about RHDCA clink here and to learn more about the Crown Village Development click here.

Below is a google map representation of the area Crown Square development area.


Dear Community, We need YOUR help!

October 22, 2008
October 22, 2008


As has been reported by the media and other experts the mortgage crisis is, and continues to be, one of the root causes of the current financial meltdown. As a way of responding to the mortgage crisis KETC has been working to connect individuals in the St. Louis community with foreclosure prevention resources through a network of trusted community partners AND highlight the impacts of the mortgage crisis on the St. Louis region. In order to get the word out we have created content on-air, online, and in the community. We have aired various Facing the Mortgage Crisis specials and we have been facilitating community presentations.  

Now it is time for us to take the work to a different level. Throughout the first four and half months of the project we have been struggling with how to get our on-air content, which is all available online through this site, out into the web community. We’ve a number of conversations about this, but until today we had no idea to do it. In a conversation with Rob Paterson, social media guru, and one of my colleagues we determined that it’s as simple as asking people for help. I guess sometimes the best option is the one staring you right in the face. We feel that it’s important for us to get our content out in the web community because connecting people to resources requires that we reach people where they are.


So, I am writing this post asking YOU to help us get the word out. We need all of you who are reading this right now to take the content on this site and send it to your family, friends, colleagues, etc. One of the unique aspects of the mortgage crisis is that many who are in trouble never seek assistance. I’ve heard stories of people not realizing that their next-door neighbor had been foreclosed on until after the property was sold. So please, as you look through the site find some specific videos, articles, etc that resonate with you and send them out to all those in your networks; this is incredibly important. As we have seen with the financial collapse of the last few weeks we are all in this together and as a result we must respond together.

Thanks for your continued support!


All of the KETC Staff


PS: If you, or anyone you know, has a story that you wish to share either on camera or off please watch this video.

Community Feedback

October 20, 2008
October 20, 2008

I want to use this post as a way of soliciting some feedback, from you, about the direction of Facing the Morgage Crisis. While we have not created new content in awhile the work is still continuing here at KETC. The project team still gathers at 8:30 a.m. every morning to discuss how we move the work forward. We are still actively working with our community partners and we are still going out into the community making presentations. Recently, in our morning meetings we have been talking about how we can create content that will connect what has been going on in the financial system to St. Louis.  In order to do this we are revisiting the focus of the project.

The current focus of Facing the Mortgage Crisis is to connect residents of the St. Louis community to trusted foreclosure prevention resources AND raise awareness about the impact of the mortgage crisis on the St. Louis region. Our current internal discussions are focused on expanding the work given how much the world has changed in the last few months. We are looking to create new content that serves a refined focus as we continue to connect people to resources. One of the many questions we are exploring is whether it’s time to expand to services beyond foreclosure prevention? What other types of social services are available for those struggling to make their house payments? These are some of the issues that we are exploring as we move forward.

One of the most important questions as we move forward is how do we continue to connect people to resources and expand the scope of the work? In expanding the scope we want to make sure that we are staying connected to what is going on in St. Louis. In order to answer these questions we are seeking your feedback. Please feel free to leave comments or send e-mails to

New from the St. Louis Beacon – The bailout hasn’t trickled down to Main Street where the foreclosure crisis is far from over

October 17, 2008
October 17, 2008

By Mary Delach Leonard, St. Louis Beacon

Three alarming facts about failing home loans are worrying Karen Wallensak of Catholic Charities who works with troubled homeowners on the front lines of the foreclosure crisis.

Wallensak, executive director of the agency’s Housing Resource Center in St. Louis, speaks in a calm, reassuring voice even when she is delivering bad news, such as her expectation that the mortgage crisis has “legs” that will carry it into the next decade. Catholic Charities is one of the local nonprofit agencies that make up the St. Louis Alliance for Homeownership Preservation that provides free counseling to troubled homeowners.

Read the rest of this entry »

KETC: “My source for saving my home.”

October 10, 2008
October 10, 2008

For the past four months, KETC has worked together with 25 community partners to provide a network of trusted resources for individuals facing foreclosure. From day one the thought has been, “If we can prevent even one foreclosure, it’s worth the effort.”

Watch what KETC and its partners have been able to achieve so far in this impact, created for The Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s (CPB) MySource campaign.

St. Louis Fed Convenes Innovators to Face the Crisis

October 1, 2008
October 1, 2008


On Wednesday and Thursday, the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, a Facing the Mortgage Crisis project partner, teamed up with the Minneapolis and Chicago Federal Reserve Banks to put on a seminar called “Neighborhood Stabilization in Weak Markets.” The seminar, though open to the public, filled up quickly, a testament to the timeliness of the conference and importance of the issue.


Among the attendees was another Facing the Mortgage Crisis project partner, Mike Duncan of the St. Louis County Department of Planning, who I spoke to about his experience. Mike was effusive in his praise of the conference, which he described as timely in light of the soon-to-be released HUD guidelines for Neighborhood Stabilization grants. The conference featured innovative presentations and state of the art methods for addressing the issue of neighborhood stabilization. He hopes that the conference will help the state and local government officials who attended to use their grant money in effective ways to maximize its benefit to the community.


The conference is part of the Federal Reserve System’s Recovery, Renewal and Rebuilding series, which you can learn more about at:


I also spoke to Matt Ashby of the St. Louis Federal Reserve about not only the conference, which was a great success, but also about what the bank is doing on a regular basis on issues related to the mortgage crisis. The bank takes a three-pronged approach to the crisis: mitigating, preventing, and intervening. To learn more about what the St. Louis branch is doing on the mortgage crisis, check out their new Foreclosure Resource Center at:


The Fed also plays a supervisory role in this crisis, so Matt was excited to get the word out about new regulations that help the Fed to prevent mortgage fraud and protect consumers. These regulations were developed based on the Truth in Lending Act. They tighten restrictions on lenders so that they are required to check on basic things like whether a person has the ability to pay back their loans. To learn more about the new regulations, check out the press release at: