October 02 2023 0comment


The United Way of the Wabash Valley’s Strong Neighborhoods Council is making available up to $40,000 in funding for Neighborhood Improvement mini-grants to the community. This is the fourth round of this offering 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 United Way believes families living in thriving neighborhoods will have greater financial stability, and that resident participation and engagement is crucial to neighborhood growth and stability. Neighborhoods grow stronger when we discover and build upon their unique strengths. Defining a neighborhood’s publicly accepted identity brings with it a great amount of power in shaping its future development.

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. Examples of previously funded projects include providing mini lending libraries across the community through Hamilton Center, creating a community garden and greenhouse at Central Elementary School in Vermillion County, and assistance with neighborhood association’s beautification days. To see a geographical map of all previously funded projects click here.

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 UWWV SN Impact Council has made available a total of $40,000 in funding to be provided to eligible qualifying applicants. Applicants may apply for $1,000 to $5,000 to be expended in 12 months. The deadline to apply is Thursday, November 30th at 4:00pm. Full mini-grant details and the application can be found at https://uwwv.org/sngrant.