CLDI is a faith-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that has been working since 1981 to invest in and foster transformation in Billings’ oldest and most marginalized community, the South Side. Our mission is to seek transformed lives through the gospel by rebuilding lives, restoring families, and re-neighboring communities. Our work has included: job-skill training for men coming out of prison; building and offering quality, affordable housing to persons in need; life-skill training and development for older teenagers and adults in order to help advance career opportunities; work with pregnant and parenting mothers to counsel them, as well as providing transitional housing to women exiting incarceration and drug abuse; and lastly, staff and volunteers to work with at-risk youth, family members, partner organizations, and schools serving the South Side. A core belief of CLDI is that all people have Imago Dei, meaning they have been created in the image of God, therefore, all people have intrinsic value and worth. Driven by this belief, CLDI intentionally engages those we serve in relationship to emphasize dignity, hope, and cast vision for living life to one’s fullest potential. We believe that through this relational investment, change is obtainable and that such change will greatly impact individuals and families, thus, communities and the city as a whole.
CLDI’s holistic approach to projects often makes them highly multifaceted. Project Katapheugó, our most recent redevelopment effort, is a prime example. In the fall of 2016, we purchased the former Labor Temple Building (24 South 29th Street, Billings, MT 59101) for $200,000, a run-down, near condemned 14,000 SF commercial building. Redevelopment began in the summer of 2017 and was completed the following year, requiring an investment cost of $3.4 million to add an additional 8,000 SF and renovate the structure to provide: CLDI office space; 17 quality, affordable apartments; a community gathering venue; and additional leased out office space. This project has greatly impacted the South Side community by removing blight, paving the way for continued renewal of the community, especially near the downtown corridor; additional housing for 17 more persons/families in need; forming additional community partnerships through leased office space; increased awareness to the work of CLDI and South Side community; as well as ensure the long-term financial sustainability of CLDI for years to come.