We believe we will put ourselves out of business someday
Founded in 1975, the Human Resource Development Council is a non-profit community action agency. HRDC serves Gallatin, Park and Meagher Counties which each encompasses approximately 2,500 square miles. The area we serve is bordered on the west by the headwaters of the Missouri River and to the south by Yellowstone National Park. To the east and north begin the expanding valleys of the Missouri and Yellowstone Rivers. Historically the area’s economy has been based on farming, ranching, and extracting and processing of natural resources. The past 20 years, however, have evidenced a significant shift to tourism and related services.
How it began:
Prior to 1975 there were only seven HRDCs in Montana and they did not cover the entire state. Gallatin, Park, and Meagher counties received very limited services for low income people. Those services were administered through the Helena HRDC, but there was no agency committed solely to the residents of our communities.
The State Office of Economic Opportunity (SOEO) was committed to expanding services of HRDCs state-wide and began working with the Sociology Department of MSU to prepare a situation statement which outlined the needs in the area. Thanks to George Galinken and Del Samson some resources were available to do that work. Rodger Ala, who had been a VISTA volunteer in Boulder moved to Bozeman and headed up a team of young volunteers to finish the situation statement. The statement was sent to the regional federal Community Services Administration (CSA) office as a request for funds.
In May 1975 the first CSA grant to expand HRDC services was made to the newly incorporated District IX, HRDC. The grant was a minimal $40,000 but allowed HRDC to move from borrowed office space at MSU to the first HRDC office on Main Street in Bozeman.
The first programs administered by the HRDC were Youth Employment, Weatherization, Migrant Workers, RSVP, and a child care Program called 4-C’s. When the initial services are compared to the number of services offered today you see that HRDC has become a full-fledged human and community development corporation that exemplifies the very best of the original Economic Opportunity concept.
September 18, 1965
Executive Office of the President, Bureau of the Budget: Director Charles L. Schultze
“We ought to involve [under served populations] at the actual working level in the poverty program.”
November 16, 1970
Executive Office of the President, Office of Economic Development: Director Donald Rumsfeld
Three following three resources must work together to ensure the impoverished can become self-sufficient by, “strengthening the self-help capabilities of the poor and to provide them the opportunity and support to participate effectively through both the Community Action Agency and their own neighborhood and target area organizations …”
- The Poor
- The Public Sector
- The Private Sector
The Gallatin Valley Food Bank was established.
HRDC began administering the Section 8 Rental Assistance Program for Gallatin, Park, and Meagher Counties.
Galavan became a part of the HRDC providing transportation to handicapped elderly and disabled residents.
To address the needs of our senior residents Case Management services and Headwaters Home Health was established.
Micro Finance Program was developed.
The Head Start Program that gives educational opportunities to preschool age children became part of HRDC.
Resource Property Management (RPM) was established to manage the affordable housing units developed by the HRDC.
Our affiliation with LISC (Local Initiative Support Corporation) began.
Livingston Land Trust was established to provide affordable home ownership in Park County.
Subsidized housing complexes in Gallatin and Park Counties were preserved.
Road to Home was introduced to the local community. This HRDC program offers families first-time homebuyer instruction and down payment assistance.
The first day of public transportation by Streamline buses was August 21, 2006. Streamline provided 121 rides that day and 87 the next day (Aug 22). In January, February, and March of 2009 there were days that exceeded 1,000 rides.
The Home to Stay program was launched. HRDC reorganized the delivery of emergency services to families experiencing a housing crisis. Home to Stay offers homeless prevention counseling, financial assistance to prevent eviction, first month rent and a case manger to help customers navigate through the multitude of programs and services available within the agency and community.
An affordable home ownership opportunity through the West Edge Condominiums offered by HRDC was established. The goal is to make homeownership affordable and sustainable by keeping the housing payment at approximately 30% of gross monthly income. Financing options are available to those who qualify.
HRDC opened the Warming Center in partnership with the Greater Gallatin Homeless Action Coaltition (GGHAC) in response to the short-term, immediate need for many to seek shelter to prevent loss of life due to the elements.
HRDC opened a VITA site in Bozeman to provide free tax preparation services.
The Community Cafe opened on North 7th in the old Frontier Pies Building. The Cafe provides a hot meal to anyone who eats 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
Main Office Building History
Bozeman’s first federal building and post office was dedicated to the community in 1915. On October 17, 2001 the building was rededicated to the community as the permanent home of HRDC. Constructed in 1915, this building served as Bozeman’s first Federal Building and Post Office until the mid-1960s when it was used for the Army Reserve. Following the vacancy left by the Army Reserve, the building was uninhabited for several years, although briefly revived for filming scenes in Robert Redford’s “A River Runs Through It.” A carriage house was built in the back of the office prior to the move in. The carriage house offers two transitional apartments for families in homeless situations. The families can remain in the apartments until permanent and affordable housing can be secured.