Montana ROC Summit emphasizes ROC leaders’ expertise

MISSOULA, Mont. – Celebrating successes as a way to learn from other ROCs proved key at this 2019 ROC Summit.

Hosted by by NeighborWorks® Montana, the ROC USA® Network affiliate in the state, the two-day training covered topics like police partnerships and community safety, governance training and marketing ROCs. Attendees also took a bus tour of two communities in Missoula — River Acres and Buena Vista Community.

Building off the success of last year’s event, Danielle Maiden, ROC Program Manager for NeighborWorks Montana, said more time for homeowners to work together and discuss projects they’re working on was added.

“There’s a whole array of people in this room that are all experts,” Maiden said.

ROC leaders were able to share the successes in their communities over the last year.

Ron Lorenz, Treasurer for Trailer Terrace Community in Great Falls, said his community was able to fix up a playground to give the children in the community a safe place to play.

“We had a playground, but we made it usable,” he said.

Laurie Westendorf, President of Morning Star Community Board in Kalispell, said the ROC was granted a non-profit status in the last year and received a tax refund after the change went through.

“We were able to use that for some of our repairs,” she said. “We didn’t need to raise the rents because of that.”

Terry Davis, President of Country Court in Kalispell, said she developed a lot of ideas after attending last year’s training that she and the Board were able to implement in their ROC. One of the main ones was bringing in a dumpster to help residents clean up their homes.

“It was really successful,” Davis said. “We are going to do that again this fall.”

Each ROC represented at the training was given a $500 grant from NeighborWorks Montana. The theme of the grant was “Partnering for Progress” and designed to encourage ROCs to build up their relationships either within their neighborhood or with the community at large. Attendees will bring their ideas back to their full Boards to finalize what projects they want to do.