City invests in community through Neighborhood Match Fund projects

Published on April 02, 2024

Neighborhood Match Fund logo

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The City of Grand Rapids recently made its latest round of Neighborhood Match Fund (NMF) investments of $75,509 to support 24 community projects. In its two-rounds this fiscal year, the NMF supported a total of 52 projects with an investment of $165,309. Each NMF project brings community together and promotes a deeper sense of belonging among neighbors.

A team of City administrators and community leaders met in January and reviewed all NMF applications for alignment to program objectives – including promoting social justice and inclusion. The NMF committee then met with leads from approved projects to review the contracting process. That meeting resulted in a shared understanding of project scope and NMF contract requirements before committing to final selections. The conversations also included strategies for intentional and inclusive project outreach and impact.

“These are exciting projects proposed by our neighbors that will enhance our community and the neighborhoods they serve,” said Brandon Davis, interim managing director of the Office of Oversight & Public Accountability & The Office of Equity & Engagement. “We’re fortunate to have active partners that care deeply about this community and work to enhance the quality of life here in our city.”

Next round of NMF project submissions will be accepted June 1-30 for projects taking place September through February. Since its inception in 2017, the Neighborhood Match Fund, has awarded from $850,832, funding 260 community-led projects.

NMF contract awards to help fund 2024 projects, led or co-led by Grand Rapids residents, went to:

  • Aim to Inspire – A Prom for Me: This project is a dance created to give the special needs community a meaningful experience at their own night to shine. At the event, participants can dress up and feel beautiful, dance, eat and enjoy time connecting with their peers.  Project date: May 11
  • Storytime in the Park – Storytime in the Park-Garfield: This project is a family literacy event that provides books and ice cream for children birth to age 17 in Alger Heights and Garfield Park.  Project will provide weekly activities to connect literacy skills. Project kicks off June 4
  • Dream K.I.M.  – Dream Cares: This project is a three part series: 1) Participants will learn about the importance of having and maintaining a healthy mind 2) Participants will learn the importance of healthy hair, healthy skin, and healthy eating and 3) Participants will learn how to meditate, journal, goal setting and do yoga. Project date: April 27
  • North End Wellness Coalition – The Self Advocacy Project: This project is providing mental health support by developing mental health door hangers and rack-cards to assist neighbors with tools for advocating for themselves. Project months: April - August
  • Creston Neighborhood Association – Emergency Preparedness Program: This project is hosting a series of emergency preparedness trainings (e.g. First Aid, NARCAN, CPR and swimming safety) for neighbors. Project date: April 8
  • Grand Rapids Got Talent: This project will showcase local talent via a talent show style event for Grand Rapids residents. Project date: May 20
  • Creston Placemaking Program: This project is partnering with Lions and Rabbits Center for the Arts to create cost effective placemaking in the Creston neighborhood (ground murals, crosswalks, and sidewalks) for parks installation public space placemaking. Project kicks off in April
  • Creston Neighborhood Association – Creston Cares Resource Workshop: This project is hosting, feeding and teaching people about the organizations that provide needed resources in the community. This will close the information gap on the rich resources available in the community. Project kicks off May 13
  • Southwest Area Neighbors DBA John Ball Area Neighbors – West Wealthy Beautification Project: This project is a beautification in the neighborhood and expression of self through art with an emphasis on diversity in the lower Southwest side of Grand Rapids. Project month: May
  • RTS Trash Service Annual Back to School Giveaway: This project is a Annual Back to School Giveaway that has been instrumental in supporting children with backpacks, school supplies, food, hairstyles and haircuts to assist parents in getting kids ready for school. August 24
  • I Live Here GR – This project will provide individuals with a high level training and overview, plus one hour guided activity (hiking, biking or kayaking) with a Certified Paddle Instructor. Project kicks off in May with two activities per month
  • BSNA Council of Neighbors - Boston Square Fair Community Summer Celebration: This project is a community fair for the neighbors in Boston Square. The project is a family friendly celebration of Boston Square neighborhood with arts, crafts, food, music, and live entertainment. This project is designed to bring neighbors together to heal and discuss violence prevention and celebrate one another. Project date: July 6
  • Ebony Road Players – West Michigan Loving Day Celebration: This project is an annual celebration that coincides with the international celebration of the Loving vs. Virginia Supreme Court Case in 1967. Project date: June 15
  • Eritrean Cultural Community and Civic Center Coffee Ceremony: This project is an Eritrean Coffee Ceremony to introduce people to Eritrean traditions, customs, and Eritrean coffee cultural practice that involves roasting, grinding, and brewing beans. Project date: May 25
  • Last Chance Youth Center of SG Building Bridges - Youth-Grandparent Mentorship Program: This project is a community initiative aimed at fostering positive relationships between youth ages 13-24 and senior citizens. Primary goal is to promote mentorship as a means to prevent drug abuse and criminal activities among the youth. Project month: June
  • Grand Rapids African American Art & Music Festival – Neighborhood Park Parties: This project will include a minimum of two events continuing the organization’s ongoing effort to celebrate the outstanding contributions of African American artists in the Grand Rapids community. This scope of work will be accomplished through visual and performing arts. Project dates: May 17, June 14 & July 12
  • Really Really Free Markets: This project is a one-day community celebration where people in need are provided with material, items, and social support resources. Project kicks off in June
  • Our Kitchen Table – Sense of Place: This project is partnering with Grand Rapids Food Co-op to raise the visibility of the Southeast Area Farmers Market (SEAFM), increase vendor participation, and expand the quantity and diversity of available produce. Partners aim to strengthen the local food economy by deepening connections between residents and farms and addressing the challenges small producers face around access to markets that match their financial and output capabilities. Project kicks off July 13
  • Friends of Grand Rapids Parks – Arborfest and Neighborwoods: This project is an Annual Community Tree Planting  and tree giveaway program in collaboration with the Mayor's Greening Initiative. This is part of the larger goal to plant 10,000 new trees throughout the city in the next five years. Project dates: April 26 & 27
  • Neighbors of Belknap Lookout – Belknap Lookout Tool Lending Library: This project is launching a tool library to support neighborhood safety, beautification, and community development in Belknap Lookout. Project date: May 1
  • Page Street Community Gardens & Union Garden – Let’s Grow Grand Rapids: This project will grow various plants such as vegetables, flowers, herbs, and spices for residents to plant in their own gardens and learn the joy of gardening. Project kicked off in March
  • Roosevelt Park Neighborhood Association – Roosevelt Park Oral History Community Project: This project is using digital media, such as video and audio formats, to capture oral and visual histories of neighbors in the Roosevelt Park neighborhood. Beginning April
  • Grand Rapids Initiative for Leaders – GRIL U: This project will give students of the GRIL U teen leadership program the opportunity to learn about health care equity and what it means to bring awareness to and advocate for changes concerning various social injustices. Project month: May
  • Upcycle Bikes – Grand Rapids Community Transportation Support:  This project will collect, refurbish and donate bikes to partner organizations in Grand Rapids.  Populations served include refugees, Grand Rapids residents, those experiencing homelessness, substance abuse, and domestic violence. Project date: May 1 

 

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