Non-Profit / Mission-Driven Work
For us, enriching lives and strengthening communities encapsulates our mission to culturally and professionally impact our communities. For over forty years, we’ve established a series of relationships with communities and organizations across the United States where our designers and engineers create environments that heal, transition, educate, shelter, support, and protect; projects which are mission-driven, and as human beings, empower us to make a difference.
GIVING CHILDREN A SPACE TO LIVE AND HEAL
BKV is currently working with 180 Degrees to renovate Brittany’s Place located in St. Paul, Minnesota. Brittany’s Place was founded in 2016 as a shelter and program for girls who are victims of commercial sex trafficking or at risk of sexual exploitation. The existing shelter no longer serves the current programming and 180 Degrees asked BKV to reimagine the existing shelter. The project vision is to create a nurturing, safe, and structured living environment to assist the girls toward recovery and self-efficacy. The project consists of an emergency shelter, classrooms, common spaces, multi-purpose rooms and administrative spaces. Outdoor programming includes spaces to engage the natural environment though gardening, social and physical activities.
REVITALIZING A STRUGGLING DOWNTOWN DISTRICT
As part of recent efforts to revitalize the City of Elgin’s struggling downtown district and attract new residents, city leaders determined artist housing would be a catalyst for positive cultural change. The Elgin Artspace Lofts were designed specifically for artists in this community, and they provide creative residents with a collaborative environment in which they can both live and work. The result is the Elgin Artspace Lofts, a mixed-use project offering 55 units of affordable live/work space for artists and their families, plus 5,874 square feet of retail and community space for arts-friendly businesses and nonprofit organizations.
HEALING THROUGH ENVIRONMENTAL CONNECTIONS
BKV is currently working with 180 Degrees to build a new youth homeless shelter in Rochester, Minnesota called the Von Wald Youth Shelter. The Von Wald emergency shelter was founded in 1989 as a safe place for youth in crisis from Rochester and the surrounding communities in southern Minnesota. The project vision is to create a nurturing, safe, and structured living environment. A place for healing youth and their families through awareness of the natural environment and programs that focus on health and wellness. We began our engagement with a discovery session with 180 leadership, staff, and residents of the shelter. We explored and identified opportunities to create spaces for family engagement, individual therapy and counseling, recreation, life skills, physical health, shared kitchen, and garden-to-table concepts. We believe that creating a place where people want to be is critical to the success of 180 Degrees programming and services. The project is currently in the fundraising phase with construction to begin late 2021.
BREAKING CYCLES OF VIOLENCE AND POVERTY
BKV is currently working with 360 Communities to program and design a new shelter for victims of domestic violence in Eagan, Minnesota. The initial program is for a fifty-person shelter that combines two existing shelters at one location with additional programming including administrative space for 20 employees, plus volunteers. We began our discovery and engagement workshop with a focus of trauma informed care for residents and secondary trauma experienced by staff and volunteers. We discussed the opportunity of creating physical spaces to promote safety, well-being and healing. Acknowledging that the physical environment can have a positive impact on identity, worth, dignity, empowerment, joy and hope. In addition, we explored the concept of secondary trauma and how overtime staff can experience internalization of trauma leading to compassion fatigue and burnout. We believe that creating a place where people want to be is critical to the success of 360 Communities programming and services. The project is currently in the programming and concept phase with their capital campaign to begin in early fall of 2021.
BUILDING ECONOMIC SECURITy for those previouslY incarcerated
BKV is currently working with 180 Degrees to program and design Clifton Place, a new community re-entry program / transitional housing facility located at the corner of Franklin Avenue and Columbus Avenue in Minneapolis, Minneapolis. In 2020, 180 Degrees launched Community Re-Entry Services, a new non-profit providing permanent housing and supportive services for graduates of Clifton Place. They are addressing the significant gap in housing and support for men with incarceration records. The project vision is to create a safe and structured living environment to successfully transition men back into the community who have paid their debt to society. 180 Degrees’ clients are supported to secure stable employment, re-connect with families, maintain sobriety and establish new living arrangements. The design is intended to raise awareness of the natural environment and programs that focus on health and wellness. We began our engagement with a discovery session with 180 leadership, staff, and residents. We then explored and identified opportunities to create spaces for family engagement, individual therapy and counseling, recreation, life skills, physical health, shared kitchen, and garden-to-table concepts. We believe that creating a place where people want to be is critical to the success of 180 Degrees’ programming and services. The project is currently in the concept phase with a capital campaign to begin the summer of 2021.
PAIRing AFFORDABLE LIVING WITH supportive FAMILY SERVICES
LUTHERAN SOCIAL SERVICE CENTER FOR CHANGING LIVES
“We are neighbors helping neighbors.”
Affordable Housing, Religious Spaces
Lutheran Social Service, founded in 1864, is the largest private, nonprofit organization in the State of Minnesota, providing social services to over 100,000 Minnesotans every year. As original founding member of the Phillips Park Initiative (PPI), formed in 1995, LSS and its collaborators brought significant stability to the neighborhood through the creation of several projects with home ownership units. The Phillips West Neighborhood Association officed in the old center and is now at the CFCL along with the local City Council member. LSS is able to offer 48 units of affordable housing to the neighborhood as well as employment services, financial counseling, family counseling, and refugee resettlement. Messiah Lutheran Church, who occupies space in the service center, has seen a three-fold increase in the use of their food pantry and has begun to offer free lunches and dinners to the neighborhood working with Second Harvest Heartland. Many of the families who live in the apartments now use the Kaleidoscope after school and summer children’s program. Plus, there is a recent addition of a Somali-owned and operated daycare center.
DESIGNING FOR PEOPLE MAKING A LIVING IN CREATIVE PURSUITS
ARTSPACE SILVER SPRING ARTS CAMPUS
“Create, foster, and preserve affordable and sustainable space for artists and arts organizations.”
BKV Group is working with Artspace, Montgomery County, and the Montgomery Housing Partnership to develop the former Third District Police Station on Sligo Avenue into an arts center anchored by affordable live/ work housing. The former station, built in 1962, was Silver Spring’s first permanent police station and will be converted into working artist studios and creative spaces, providing opportunities for the area’s creative artists and organizations eager to find affordable workspace within the DC Metro area. In addition to the redevelopment of the existing building into artist studios, the proposed development also includes construction of 68 affordable live/work units and 11 townhouses. This project will create a strong anchor and transitional connection between the business district and residential neighborhoods. The site plan responds to the sensitivity of the neighborhood, while providing vital opportunities for job growth, affordable rental and for-sale housing, and support for the local creative economy.
MIXED-INCOME HOUSING THAT PRIORITIZES THE HOMELESS AND THOSE WITH DISABILITIES
“Dedicated to developing, constructing, and managing high-quality affordable housing.”
“Building the hope, assets, and self-reliance of individuals and families who have lower incomes by providing transformative affordable housing and career readiness services.”
With our project partners, Woda Cooper Companies, Inc., Project for Pride in Living (PPL), and CRW architecture + design group, Inc, we are in the design development phase to bring 46 affordable housing units to Minneapolis (using a 9% tax credit). All of Shelby Commons’ units will be a mix of incomes – ranging from 30 to 80% of area median income – with seven of the units set aside for high-priority residents who have experienced homelessness, and five units reserved for people with disabilities. Located near light rail transit (LRT), Shelby Commons will reach completion in mid-2022.