Community Leaders Secure $875,000 (and counting) in Funding for Weatherization and Repair Programs Across the Shore.

 

Utility bills are one of the highest expenses for low and moderate income (LMI) families, with over 10% of monthly household income spent on electricity alone!  
Eleventh House has facilitated the flow of over $875,000 in funding to the Eastern Shore to help LMI homeowners improve energy efficiency and lower their monthly utility bills.  It is estimated that for every $1 spent on weatherization, $1.80 is saved on utility costs therefore we estimate that $1.5 Million dollars will be saved as a result of these programs.  
The PowerUp Program - a partnership between Habitat for Humanity Choptank and Easton Utilities Commission to weatherize and repair homes in Talbot and Dorchester counties.   
The Chop-A-Watt Program - an initiative by Choptank Electric and numerous community partners to weatherize and repair homes in all nine counties of Maryland’s Eastern Shore.    

Eleventh House's Contribution:

  • Identified need
  • Found grant funding
  • Recruited community partners
  • Wrote, won, and administered grant
  • Solicited and qualified applicants
  • Produced verbiage and materials for marketing campaign
  • Managed contractors 
  • Maintained communication with applicants throughout the process
  • Acted as Project Manager
  • Completed grant paperwork including billing
  • Post-grant assessment of impact

 

 

Community-Driven Food System Improvement and Strategy

 

29% of Mid-Shore families live in poverty, 47% of K-12 students qualify for free/reduced lunches, and 12% of residents are food insecure (meaning they may not know from where their next meal is coming.)  
In response to these issues (and more), the Mid-Shore Food System Coalition (MSFSC) was formed.  The MSFSC is a strategic body that identifies, prioritizes, and coordinates food-system improvements in the 5-county Mid-Shore region of Maryland.  MSFSC seeks to support and strengthen the regional food system with positive outcomes for food security, regional agriculture, and environmental sustainability.

Eleventh House's Contribution:

  • Hosted dozens of community listening sessions, meetings, and/or strategic planning sessions
  • Recruited 1,000+ coalition members
  • Produced website, verbiage, and materials for communications campaign
  • Developed relationships with dozens of community change-makers, community leaders, and stakeholders 
  • Maintained communication with 2,000+ email participants
  • Facilitated collaboration between previously disparate groups working on similar issues

 

 

Town Saves Tens of Thousands of Dollars at no Cost to Them

 

Utility costs make up a huge chunk of municipal budgets and any reduction in usage can translate to huge savings over the course of years.  With funding from the Maryland Smart Energy Communities Program, the Town of Easton, Maryland has converted all of their traffic lights and many of their streetlights to LED, with plans to continue the project until complete.  As of 2016; Easton has saved an estimated $105,000 in energy costs with a projected savings of over $500,000 in ten years.

Eleventh House's Contribution:

  • Wrote, won, and administered grant
  • Negotiated community partner in-kind contributions
  • Acted as Project Manager
  • Completed grant paperwork including billing
  • Post-grant assessment of impact
 

A Nexus of Technology, Foresight, and Responsibility

 

The Town of Easton, and it's municipally-owned utility company Easton Utilities is creating a "Sustainability Campus" within town limits that aspires to combine, a state-or-the-art wastewater treatment facility, community solar, landfill gas capture and reuse, wind, and battery storage solutions.  
 

Eleventh House's Contribution:

  • Thought leader in the pivot to microgrid resilience planning
  • Part of logo development team
  • Part of marketing team
  • Pursuit of non-traditional funding methods e.g. GameChanger Grant
 

Programmatic Buy-In Increases Funding Opportunities

 

Strategizing for the financial sustainability of “green” projects is particularly important for municipalities looking to utilize these programs in the future, as well as approach new funders successfully. 
Many Federal and State programs require buy-in from communities who seek funding.  Buy-in can be in the form of matching funds or a quid-pro-quo of programs that benefit the client’s community resilience, if not financial sustainability.  One such program is the Sustainable Maryland (SM) Program.  SM is a certification program for municipalities in Maryland that want to go green, save money, and take steps to sustain their quality of life over the long term. SM is a collaborative effort between the Environmental Finance Center at the University of Maryland and the Maryland Municipal League to replicate the success of the Sustainable Jersey initiative throughout the Mid-Atlantic States, beginning in Maryland.
SM certification signifies a community's willingness to participate in Federal and State "green" initiatives, and may facilitate approvals and access to funding in the future.

  
Eleventh House's Contribution:

  • Identified program and recommended action
  • Compiled existing initiatives and appropriate documentation to achieve certification
  • Created a comprehensive website to document, educate, and showcase the communities green initiatives
  • Interface with Mayor and town office 
  • Created a Green Team

 

 

 

 

Comprehensive Community Events Calendar for Talbot County and Beyond

 

Many local businesses, municipalities, and community groups understand how frustrating it can be to try to schedule an event.  Double-booking, over-scheduling, no centralized location for community postings, events, and announcements.  In addition, there is often a paucity of searchable information available online to potential visitors looking for "things to do" on the Mid-Shore of Maryland.   
EventCo was created to provide a template for all local counties to use to create a centralized hub of events to avoid these issues and increase the visibility of local events on the world wide web.  


Eleventh House's Contribution:

  • Identified need and envisioned the solution
  • Created the website template
  • Launched beta website for one county 
  • Compiled 200+  unique events a month
  • Collected 200+ events from myriad sources into a single comprehensive feed
  • Developed ability to cross-promote events across multiple county feeds
  • Developed a strategy for financial self-sufficiency
  • Made project available to county tourism boards, municipalities, and local organizations interested in promoting local events

 

 

Easton Utilities Commission Enacts Company-Wide Recycling Program

 

Many municipalities and business understand the need to move towards a more “sustainable” ethic, including “green” initiatives in strategic planning, but may or may not be able to institute it with available resources.

   
Eleventh House's Contribution:

  • Created project scope, charter, and plan for Recycling
  • Audited and evaluated current practices and attitudes
  • Made recommendations for action
  • Created materials for company-wide project launch
  • Assisted with project launch

 

 

Increasing Options, Education, and Choice via Residential Solar Co-op

 

MD SUN expands access to solar by educating Marylanders about the benefits of distributed solar energy, helping them organize group solar installations, and strengthening Maryland’s solar policies and its community of solar supporters.


Eleventh House's Contribution:

  • Vetted program and checked references
  • Hosted meetings
  • Marketed opportunity to community and community partners
  • Participated in decision-making process and vetting committee
 

Rural Community Explores Alternatives to Coal-Generated Electricity

 

The Town of Easton, Easton Utilities Commission, and Talbot county residents have been exploring the possibility of harnessing wind for the community good.  Exploration has included: the award of $1.1 Million in matching funds by the Maryland Energy Administration's WindSwept program to erect a turbine, the award and erection of an anemometer at the site of the Easton Sustainability Campus to gauge potential energy production, and community meetings hosted by the Community Wind Project of Hagerstown, MD.  


Eleventh House's Contribution:

  • Initiated the introduction of wind turbines into the "Sustainability Campus" project
  • Identified, won, and deferred $1.1 Million dollar "Windswept" grant
  • Identified, won, and administered "Anemometer Loan" grant

 

 

Green Actions Led by the Town Mean More Team Play

 

The purpose of a ‘green team’ is to activate an organization or town's sustainability mission, raise awareness of sustainable practices and to facilitate education to help stimulate ideas and actions for system improvements.
A green team is an effective way to implement a sustainability program. Using a team approach helps to ensure that all divisions and/or offices of the organization are aware of and participating in the program. In addition, the team approach allows for the work to be distributed among several people and departments.


Eleventh House's Contribution:

  • Identified and recruited core green team members
  • Compiled existing green initiatives
  • Made recommendations for further green actions
  • Hosted green team meetings

 

 

Global Art Project Brought Home to Easton, MD

 

Before I Die is a global art project that invites people to reflect on their lives and share their personal aspirations in public space.  This project was started by Candy Chang on an abandoned house in New Orleans after she lost someone she loved.  

Easton's "Before I Die" boards are located at the intersection of the Spanish-speaking and English-speaking communities intentionally.  It is thought that seeing the aspirations of those from other cultures, written in a "foreign" language, will bring home the truth that we more alike than we realize. 
 
Eleventh House's Contribution:

  • Recognize the power of the Before I Die initiative
  • Seek and win permission from building owner, adjacent businesses, and municipality
  • Create and install the boards
  • Maintain the boards with a wipe-clean weekly
  • Document their activity on a dedicated Facebook page