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About Our 2021 Love Your Block Program

Love Your Block is a grant program that brings city leaders and residents together to build stronger neighborhoods, one block at a time. Through the program, cities award mini-grants to residents and community partners to reduce blight and spur neighborhood-driven change.

In September 2021, Cities of Service announced eight cities that will receive a $100,000 grant over two years to support resident-led efforts fighting blight and fund a Love Your Block Fellow drawn from the community. Each will also receive up to two AmeriCorps VISTA members and technical assistance from expert Cities of Service staff. 

This Love Your Block program is focused on helping cities to partner with community groups and activate resident volunteers to repair, remediate, or otherwise address blight in their neighborhoods. 

The eight newest Love Your Block cities are:

  • Albany, New York
  • El Paso, Texas
  • Erie, Pennsylvania
  • Jackson, Tennessee
  • Nashua, New Hampshire
  • Salt Lake City, Utah 
  • Shawnee, Oklahoma
  • White Plains, New York 

Now situated at Johns Hopkins University, Cities of Service is pleased to continue the Love Your Block program with support from Bloomberg Philanthropies and AmeriCorps.

About Love Your Block 

Every day, mayors and the cities they lead struggle with the negative impacts that vacant, abandoned, and deteriorating properties have on neighborhoods and the people living in them. The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated these problems, particularly for communities in economically distressed areas. Cities are not only at the forefront in responding to the pandemic, but they are likely to feel the impacts of COVID-19 for years to come. Love Your Block will help mayors and city chief executives address these daunting problems. 

Since 2009, Cities of Service has helped nearly 50 cities implement Love Your Block. More than 26,000 community members have revitalized over 3,500 community spaces, creating nearly 750 art displays, cleaning 98,000 square feet of graffiti, removing 6 million pounds of trash, and much more.

A recent study by the Urban Institute found that Love Your Block both helped cities fight blight by supporting resident-led projects, and also formed reciprocal relationships between citizens and city hall that helped spur citizen-centered innovations in policy and practice. The report built on an earlier Urban Institute report finding that the connections forged between city leaders and citizens at the neighborhood level can be one of the most important catalysts for collective action by neighborhood residents. This connection between city officials and citizens boosts the social capital exercised by citizens who plan and implement Love Your Block projects and strengthens social cohesion. 

Learn more about about past Love Your Block programs below:

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