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Applications are open for Love Your Block

Applications are now open for Love Your Block, 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.

Eight U.S. cities will be selected to receive a $100,000 grant over two years to support resident-led efforts fighting blight and to fund a Love Your Block Fellow drawn from the community, as well as up to two AmeriCorps VISTA members and technical assistance from expert Cities of Service staff. The AmeriCorps VISTA member(s) and Fellow will serve in city hall to build capacity for resident engagement. 

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.

The deadline to apply is August 9, 2021.

This program will focus on helping cities to partner with community groups and activate resident volunteers to repair, remediate, or otherwise address blight in their neighborhoods. Blighted properties include, but are not limited to, single family homes, apartment buildings, commercial buildings, vacant lots, parks, and other public spaces.

Love Your Block is an AmeriCorps VISTA program in accordance with the core principles of AmeriCorps VISTA: an anti-poverty focus, community empowerment, sustainable solutions, and capacity building. Click here to learn more about AmeriCorps.

Download the full Request for Proposals here.

Upcoming Webinars 

July 14, 12:00pm EST
Informational Webinar
Register here 

July 22, 3:00pm EST
Office Hour: A one-hour open session dedicated to applicants who have an idea they would like to discuss or those who need specific points of clarification prior to submitting the grant application.
Register here

July 28, 3:00pm EST
Informational Webinar
Register here 

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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