October 04 2022 0comment

Strong Neighborhoods Impact Council Offering Neighborhood Improvement Mini-Grants to the Community

The United Way of the Wabash Valley’s Strong Neighborhoods Council is making available up to $60,000 in funding for Neighborhood Improvement mini-grants to the community.  This is the third round of this offering to the community from the council whose goal is to create a positive impact for struggling working families in the Wabash Valley by investing in programs and initiatives that provide our community with safe, vibrant, and inclusive neighborhoods.

The Neighborhood Improvement Project mini-grant program focuses on any neighborhood in the United Way’s service area of Clay, Parke, Sullivan, Vermillion, and Vigo counties in Indiana and Clark county in Illinois.  These mini-grants will be between $1,000 and $5,000 each and are intended to enhance the “look and feel” of a neighborhood by addressing public safety, beautification projects, blight elimination, and/or government-service improvements or a combination of any of these categories.  Examples of these types of projects include adding lighting in public areas, a neighborhood clean-up initiative, public landscaping projects, public murals, and park improvements.

This council is working to bring residents and organizations together to build thriving neighborhoods where residents feel safe and connected to one another.  In doing so, applicants are encouraged to collaborate with a community organization such as a civic organization, neighborhood association or a business to be the project lead or fiscal agent, but neighborhood residents can join forces and apply if sufficient fiscal management controls can be demonstrated.

As part of the council’s second round of Neighborhood Improvement mini-grants, Amanda Otieno, Director of 14th and Chestnut Community Center, utilized the grant to improve their playground. The playground has a new fence, mulch, and playhouses now. Otiento stated, “We are very grateful that the community sees the importance in providing a safe place for people to connect.” She also said, “When you provide a safe place for people to connect, the sense of community grows stronger since people feel proud of their neighborhoods.”

Carey LaBella, co-chair of the United Way’s Strong Neighborhood Council stated that, “Improving the look and feel of a neighborhood has the potential to create growth and stability in that area.  And when people feel safe and are living in a thriving neighborhood they can be more at ease and have the ability to focus on other things in life that can create greater financial stability.  Our hope is that these mini-grants help to create long-term change in neighborhoods across the Wabash Valley.”

The deadline to apply for these grants is Friday, January 6th, 2023 at 4:00 pm ET.  Full mini-grant details and the application can be found at uwwv.org/funding.  For more information on the Strong Neighborhoods Council and to see past mini-grant awards visit uwwv.org/strong-neighborhoods/.