Carol Malone, Communications Fellow, Neighborhood Connections, Neighbor Up! I interviewed her about the program.
Neighborhood Connections is a community building program. Their mission is to fuel the power of neighbors to create an extraordinary world where they live through their small grant program that provides the residents of Cleveland and East Cleveland grants in the amount of $500 to $5,000 twice a year, May and November, to support neighborhood projects.
Since the Cleveland Foundation established Neighborhood Connections in 2003, they have funded approximately 3,000 neighborhood projects. Investing $7.5 million in resident projects.
One hundred projects were funded for May 2017. Highlights of a few of them are:
HTC Urban Outreach Committee will use their award of $2,762 to create a fun energized safe space to draw residents and stakeholders together. The Hope Community Festival will provide opportunities for residents to connect with resource agents and centers that they are unaware of.
Central Area Youth Sports organization received $2,500 towards their Helping Youth project. The project is designed to draw youth in the community to engage in conversations around positive behavior. Youth and parents will have an opportunity to participate in a workshop with community activist and other key officials to discuss issues around gun activity.
Black on Black Crime Inc. was awarded $4,125 for their neighborhood Bike Fix-a-Thon project. This project supports and encourages youth to develop their quality living in terms of health, education/training, employment and safety through the conversations with mature male speakers. For a complete list of Neighborhood Connections grants awarded, visit their website www.neighborhoodgrants.org.
To apply for a grant, you must be a resident of Cleveland or East Cleveland. Grants are neighborhood specific and should be resident inspired and resident led. The grant committee looks for neighbors who want to make a positive impact on their neighborhood.
“As a former grant maker for three years, it was my responsibility to thoroughly read, review, interview and make funding decisions with the Grant Making Committee,” says Carol Malone, Communications Fellow of Neighborhood Connections. “The funds are to be used to fund grassroots community projects that improve the quality of life in our neighborhoods and the Neighbor Up network.”
Neighbor Up is a diverse network of people committed to Cleveland neighborhoods. They are a powerful network of grassroots and civic leaders launched in 2012. The network has 2,000 card-carrying members and is a place for members to exchange resources, support each other and collaborate.
Once a month, Neighborhood Connections host “Network Night”. Dinner is served, no cost to you, and free parking is available at 1919 East 107th Street and the Harvey Rice Library.
There are many programs for citizens to get engaged with listed on their website.
“I was inspired by the caring citizens that I met who were creating positive programs and activities in their neighborhoods. Approximately four years ago, I pitched the idea for a show to showcase our grantees. I currently create, produce, write and host the podcast “Neighbor Up Spotlight”. I am so grateful and amazed that I get an opportunity to shine a light on our unsung neighborhood heroes,” says Malone.
Neighbor Up Spotlight is now on Soundcloud, iTunes and you can always google the show.
Support Neighborhood Connections and remember: Get informed! Get engaged! Neighbor Up! And Listen to Neighbor Up Spotlight!
Take ownership of your neighborhood. Apply for a grant so you can make a difference.