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Success Stories

Browse All Stories

Rural Development and Thunder Valley visiting outside the Montessori School

Routine Servicing Leads to New Projects

When communities look to expand facilities, often they’ll call on Rural Development to learn what loan and grant opportunities might provide support. Rural Development Community Facility Program Loan Specialists like Katie Hammer offer a valuable resource for those communities… [Read More]
Vikki Shoulders with family outside her new home

I was paying for something I knew I would never own

Vikki Shoulders has lived on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation her entire life. At 46, she always dreamed of owning her own home, but on the reservation, there weren’t many options. While renting offered many benefits, she knew she was paying for something she would never own… [Read More]
Native American ladies sitting in chairs, talking and smiling with each other.

Increasing Abundance with Native Communities Cooperative Development Training

Cooperatives are designed to meet the common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations of a group. Making sure the group’s values and cultural dynamics are honored is fundamental to successful cooperative development; this makes the co-op model attractive to many… [Read More]
Exterior photo of Shalyn Janis home

Creating A Haven for Native American Homeowners

The journey to homeownership is often filled with anxiety, unknowns, frustrations and eventually excitement as you move into your home. For Shalyn Janis, this journey began in 2018. She had been trying to buy a home for a while when she heard about USDA’s Native Relending, or… [Read More]
Reel of Fiber in rural countryside.

ReConnecting Rural Residents to Reliable High-Speed Internet

High-speed internet used to be considered a luxury for many rural customers. When the pandemic hit, the need for reliable broadband service became a priority. Thanks to Rural Development’s ReConnect program, rural customers near Timber Lake now will have reliable internet… [Read More]
Male and female sanding a floor.

Homeownership Becomes Reality Through Four Bands Community Fund, Rural Development

When Kim Lawrence of Eagle Butte set out to purchase a home, she knew there was work to be done. “I had very bad credit and student loans that had gone unpaid,” said Lawrence. “Before I could buy a house, I needed to clean up my credit, and Four Bands helped guide me along the… [Read More]
Resident hugging her new home.

Partnership’s key to smoothing bumpy road to successful homeownership

USDA Rural Development and Red Cliff Chippewa Housing Authority (RCCHA) have partnered over the years in Wisconsin to help tribal members make repairs to existing homes and to help renters reach their goals of becoming homeowners on tribal-leased land. Carrie Fulton, a USDA… [Read More]
Brian and Catherine Bartunek family with Rural Development staff outside home

Bartuneks Become Homeowners After Long Journey

Buying a house can be a daunting process for anyone and it’s easy to become discouraged or overwhelmed, but for one South Dakota family, perseverance paid off for their long journey to home ownership. Brian and Catherine Bartunek wanted a place to call home for their three… [Read More]
Man inside his brewery

Army Veteran Brings Brewing Back to Butte

In 2015, Tony Olson, who is a member of the Great Falls Little Shell Tribe and a U.S. Army National Guard Veteran, brought craft brew back to Butte, Mont.  He used USDA Rural Development Rural Energy for America Program funding to install solar panels on his brewery’s roof.  And… [Read More]
A smiling family, father, mother, two young daughters, standing on the porch of their own home.

Couple Turns Wishes of Homeownership into Reality with USDA and Four Directions

“When we walked in, I felt like an imposter - Like I just stole somebody’s house,” said Michael Carlos, a Houlton, Maine native and fiancé of Sakoya Blackwell, a member of the Maliseet Indian Tribe in Houlton. “I couldn’t believe it was really ours.” For years, their family… [Read More]