One of the primary objectives of the Promise Neighborhood Engagement Team is to empower residents to lead. One way for residents to take an active leadership role in the community is through resident-led community grants. Neighborhood Connections is an organization that offers small grants to groups of residents in Cleveland and East Cleveland to do projects that improve their communities. Grants range from $500 to $5,000. Since 2003, the organization has funded about 2,300 projects to the tune of more than $7.5 million.
Some examples of past grant work include: doing a community clean-up, community garden, or art project. Other examples include developing a youth program, or creating and passing out informational packets. In the end it’s all about helping the community.
In November 2016, grants specifically awarded to projects happening in the Central neighborhood included:
- Project Self – a program for Garden Valley residents to learn valuable self-care skills to help prevent violence and become empowered.
- Feeding the Community – the project expands on a current program to further meet the needs of those in need of food.
- December Community Breakfast and Outreach – a holiday breakfast for women affected by homelessness, addiction and abuse. The women also receive toiletries and winter apparel.
- Restoration of Faith – the program provides information and care packages to homeless women and women battling drug addiction.
Hoping to encourage Central residents to apply for more Neighborhood Connections grants, Promise Neighborhood engagement manager Joe Black is hosting free grant writing workshops. Black is a former Neighborhood Connections grant recipient and is currently a Neighborhood Connections grant reviewer.
Sessions will be held:
Friday, January 27, 2017 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Woodland Branch of Cleveland Public Library
Friday, February 3, 2017 2:30 – 4:30 p.m. at Sterling Branch of Cleveland Public Library
For more information, read Neighborhood Connections’ frequently asked questions here.
The Cleveland Foundation launched Neighborhood Connections in 2003 to empower people in Cleveland’s neighborhoods and encourage them to become more engaged with each other and the city around them. Neighborhood Connections extends small grants that fund citizen-led neighborhood projects.