Building a Better Community
The Human Resource Development Council of District IX, Inc. (HRDC) was established in 1975 to serve Gallatin, Park, and Meagher Counties in Southwestern Montana. We are a private, not-for-profit Community Action Agency, dedicated to strengthening community and advancing the quality of people’s lives. We work to achieve this by developing resources, talent and capital, to help people of all ages and situations confront and overcome obstacles so that they can improve their lives. We focus on seven strategic challenges and operate multiple programs to address these pressing human needs. We serve our community in these seven areas: Food and Nutrition, Housing and Homelessness, Child and Youth Development, Senior Empowerment, Community Transportation, Home Heating, Efficiency, and Safety, and Community and Economic Development. Through our programs, we foster sustainable results through practical, comprehensive approaches to social and economic challenges.
HRDC’s Housing initiative works across all levels of housing security, from homelessness to homeownership. HRDC’s Housing programs work to ensure that every member of our community can afford to have and preserve place to call home, whether it is in the form of emergency shelter, transitional housing, affordable rentals, rental subsidies, down payment assistance, or home repairs. HRDC incorporates its community development and strategic planning initiatives into a housing strategy to meet both the needs of the community and our customers. HRDC’s housing initiative encompasses the Warming Center, Amos House, the Home to Stay Program, Resource Property Management, the Road to Home Program, and the Home Rehabilitation Program offering services from housing stabilization to homebuyer education to home safety repairs. HRDC’s housing programs provide: 24 beds of emergency shelter, 24 units of transitional housing, 410 rental assistance vouchers, 267 units of affordable housing, homeless prevention and placement assistance for more than 600 households annually, homebuyer education to 150 households annually, and down payment assistance to 26 households annually.
HRDC’s Energy Initiative combines emergency assistance, heat bill supplements, and home energy savings measures to offset heating costs for limited income households. Heating costs for older homes, mobile homes, and energy-inefficient apartment rentals can cause a household to face significant energy cost increases during the winter months in Montana. Emergency assistance can be in the form of service shut-off prevention and hot water heater or furnace replacement and is provided to more than 1,000 households annually, heat bill supplements are provided to more than 2,000 households annually to assist households through the winter months, financial assistance is paid directly to the heat vendor. Energy saving measures are conducted for homes of eligible households and create more efficient homes by installing effective insulation and weather-stripping, and testing and tuning combustion appliances for safety and efficiency. We strive to educate homeowners or renters on energy conservation, home health, and safety. Benefits are provided based on the projected Savings to Investment Ratio for the energy retrofit, which must pay for itself within the lifetime of the energy saving measure, this helps more than 300 households annually to reduce their overall heating costs in perpetuity.
HRDC’s Nutrition initiative works to improve food security across Gallatin County. Through the Gallatin Valley and Headwaters Area Food Banks, food assistance is provided in the form of emergency food boxes, healthy snack packs for the weekend, nutritionally balanced lunches during the summer months, and supplemental foods to seniors. HRDC added the Community Café to its Nutrition initiative in 2012, offering free meals nightly, 7 days per week, 365 days per year. Nutrition is vital for our area’s vulnerable senior and child populations, and our services touch 1 in 6 persons throughout Gallatin County.
HRDC’s Public Transportation Initiative, Streamline, provides fare free public transit serving the communities of Belgrade, Bozeman, and Livingston. Systems run 6 days per week with 4 routes and offer special routes to Bridger, linkages with Skyline (to Big Sky), commuter routes to Belgrade and Livingston, and Latenight Service to the greater Bozeman area. Streamline recently celebrated providing its one millionth ride just following its 5 year service anniversary. HRDC’s Para Transit Initiative, Galavan, serves our senior and disabled residents with a demand-response transportation system to medical and other appointments.
HRDC’s Senior Empowerment Initiative addresses quality of life and independence in the home for many of our area seniors. With door to door transportation to medical and other appointments, meaningful volunteer opportunities, supplemental foods, and in-home health care, we work to provide each and every senior with wrap around services that enable them to remain self-sufficient and be engaged with the community.
HRDC’s Community Development Initiative provides innovative and creative solutions to identified community needs. Public Transportation, Homebuyer education and down payment assistance, as well as construction of affordable housing are results of the community strategic planning process that HRDC conducts every five years. Finding resources to maintain existing services that are identified as vital to the community is also part of the Community Development initiative. This year’s specific outcome includes sales of 36 condominium units available for purchase to households previously priced out of Bozeman’s housing market, and the establishment of a Volunteer In Tax Assistance (VITA) site serving the Bozeman area. The goal is to build and sustain healthy communities through the construction of housing and community facilities and the development of community programs that educate and support families and individuals.
HRDC’s Youth Initiative focuses on early childhood development and services for at-risk youth between the ages of 16-21. Our Head Start Program provides for the healthy development of children and the strengthening of families through education, health, nutrition, mental health, and disability services. Our Youth Development Program provides opportunities, focused direction, and inspiration for achievement to prepare youth to live up to their full potential and drive their own path to success, providing access to career exploration, academic and/or GED completion, employment skills and placement.