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Grantee City

In 2018, Lancaster was named one of ten winners of the Cities of Service City Hall AmeriCorps VISTA Love Your Block competition. Cities of Service awarded each winning city $25,000 to be used for mini-grants and provides ongoing technical assistance and resources to support the efforts of citizen groups and local nonprofits to fight property blight through home repairs, lot transformations, and community cleanups.

Lancaster is revitalizing its historic Howard Avenue and Churchtown neighborhoods without diminishing their character. The city’s Love Your Block program is supporting the community through minor home repairs, façade improvements, and public art that celebrates neighborhood identity.

Mayor Sorace has made “strong neighborhoods” the centerpiece of her administration. She envisions the role of city government as leveraging its resources to empower residents to shape their neighborhoods. The Love Your Block model has already shown a great deal of success in addressing issues related to blight in areas where engagement has begun.

Mayor Danese Sorace

Before becoming Mayor, Danene Sorace was a nonprofit consultant, concentrating in the areas of youth education and green infrastructure. She served as Finance Chair for Lancaster City Council for one term.

Director of Neighborhood Engagement Milzy Carrasco

Milzy Carrasco spent twelve years as a community organizer and programs manager for San Juan Bautista Church and the Emerald Foundation before starting as Director of Neighborhood Engagement for Lancaster. In these roles, Milzy worked in all areas of community development, from access to food to fundraising.