NEIGHBORHOOD GRANTS IN ACTION
In March of 2019, Habitat Chicago officially launched the Neighborhood Grants Initiative: a small grants program that provides funding for resident-led projects in the West Pullman and Greater Grand Crossing neighborhoods.
This program supports neighborhood-focused projects by putting more resources into the hands of residents who want to work together to make an impact in their communities.
While Habitat Chicago provides the funding, the projects ideas are developed and brought to life by residents who know and love their neighborhoods. The initial summer project period provided funding to nine projects that included landscaping, porch repairs, block parties, and even a basketball tournament. A full list of those projects can be found here.
During the summer project period, nearly 50 resident leaders invested over 500 hours to make their projects happen. The results were remarkable: across all nine projects, 700 people were engaged as leaders, volunteers, service providers, participants, and attendees.
For project leader June N, community projects like those supported through the Neighborhood Grants Initiative highlight that “we are mosaic in our presence, yet we are singular in our need for a nurturing stable neighborhood and block.”
The Neighborhood Grants Initiative runs year-round, with three project periods that each span four months of the year. The fall project period, which runs from August through November is now in full swing, with nine more projects receiving Neighborhood Grants in West Pullman and Greater Grand Crossing. Here is a full list of those projects:
A back to school drive – Neighbors are planning a school supply giveaway for the start of the new school year.
A basketball tournament and health fair – Neighbors are organizing a community event that will feature a basketball tournament and health fair.
Home porch repairs – Neighbors will repair and maintain their porches together.
A cookout in the park – Neighbors will come together at a community cookout to celebrate their neighborhood, play games, and reconnect.
Community wall art – Neighbors will create a 24x25 ft. banner that will go up in their community.
A college care package initiative and Thanksgiving banquet – Neighbors will offer ongoing support to students who are currently away at college and celebrate their return for Thanksgiving with a banquet.
A community garden initiative – Neighbors will work together to maintain and beautify an existing community garden on their block.
A winter clothes giveaway – Neighbors will provide essential winter garments to community members in need.
Solar spotlight installation – Neighbors will install matching solar spotlights in the front lawns of 30 homes on their block.
While the fall project period is underway, the next application and project period is on the horizon: the winter project period will run from December 2019 to March 2020, with a pre-application workshop on November 2nd. For more information about this program, its project periods, and eligibility requirements, visit the program page.
If you or anyone you know lives in West Pullman or Greater Grand Crossing and would be interested in applying for a grant, the first step is attending a pre-application workshop. To be added to the program’s interest list, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’re interested in funding a Neighborhood Grant, email email@example.com.