City requests proposals for third round of PBGR projects/ideas

Published on July 27, 2023

Participatory Budgeting Grand Rapids logo

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The third round of requests for proposals (RFPs) for Participatory Budgeting Grand Rapids (PBGR) selected projects are now on the street. The City is looking for individuals, organizations, companies or agencies to conduct affordable daycare for 2nd and 3rd shift workers, develop a mental health community first responder team, and conduct community-based violence reduction. Each RFP is available through the PBGR website:

The City of Grand Rapids is in the midst of preparing and awarding RFPs for 12 projects and ideas selected through the PBGR public vote process held last year.

Requests for proposals for a qualified person, organization, or firm are now sought through 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 3 for the following three PBGR projects:

Affordable daycare for 2nd and 3rd shift workers in the First and Third Wards

This RFP seeks a qualified person, organization, or firm to address the critical need for second and third shift affordable childcare services in the First and Third Ward. The goal is to design and implement a comprehensive program that will provide accessible and affordable childcare during non-traditional hours for working families. The proposer will carry this out by:

  1. Creating an initiative designed to collaborate with existing licensed childcare providers to provide high-quality childcare during non-traditional hours.
  2. Increasing the number of accessible and affordable child care options available in the First Ward and Third Ward during non-traditional working hours.

Mental Health First Responder Program for the Second Ward

The City seeks a qualified person, organization, or firm to carry out a Mental Health First Responder Program to provide mental health first aid training to interested community members and develop a schedule of on-call volunteers who can be contacted to assist in de-escalating situations where mental health support is needed. The primary objective of this initiative is to include non-police, trained responders to decrease violence, act proactively and effectively de-escalate mental health crises that do not require a police response. The proposer will carry this out by:

  1. Implementing a mental health first aid training program
  2. Establishing an on-call volunteer system within the Second Ward
  3. Working closely with existing mental health organizations and community stakeholders to identify the needs of the community
  4. Tailor the training to address the specific needs of residents in the Second Ward

Community-based Violence Reduction Program to serve the Third Ward

The successful qualified person, organization, or firm will develop a Community Violence Reduction Outreach Team initiative focused on neighborhoods in the Third Ward. The goal of the initiative is to connect residents to community resources, provide support through a peer model and help to reduce violence and barriers to services. The outreach team will engage with community members affected by violence to reduce its occurrence and promote community safety. The proposer will carry this out by:

  1. Partnering with existing community organizations to identify specific neighborhood needs around crime reduction and access to resources, and how these needs can be addressed.
  2. Creating outreach teams for designated neighborhoods within the Third Ward that would work with neighborhood associations to connect with residents
  3. Training the outreach team on violence reduction strategies and implementation.
  4. Partnering with existing initiatives and social services to help with the connection to resources, connecting to organizations that can provide basic needs, and assisting with the diversion of police and CPS contacts made.
  5. For a more detailed explanation of the projects, or to submit a proposal for any of the above RFPs, please visit for instruction. Once proposals are submitted and reviewed, the City hopes to execute agreements with selected partners this fall to make these community ideas a reality.

The Urban Core Collective will host seven webinars for potential contractors interested in responding to these and other upcoming PBGR RFPs. The one-hour educational sessions are set for:

  • Noon, August 2
  • Noon, August 8
  • 5 p.m., August 15
  • 4 p.m., September 7
  • 5 p.m., September 12
  • Noon, September 20
  • 4 p.m., September 28

The webinars are optional and not required to respond to the RFPs. Registration is required. You can register for the webinars using the following links:

Those who register will receive a calendar invite and an email reminder on the day of the session. The Zoom link will be the same for each webinar so if so if one changes a session date, they can join a different session. Please email and let them know if this happens.

The PBGR projects, which span across the City’s three wards, are funded by $2 million of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds. The graduated ward distribution of funds includes: First Ward - $600,000, Second Ward -$400,000, and Third Ward - $1 million.

The public vote for projects recommended by the public and finalized by the PBGR Steering Committee Votes by ward took place online during Vote Week – September 30 to October 5, 2022 at, in-person at all Grand Rapids Public Library sites and at a series of neighborhood events. Residents, 13 years of age and older, were eligible to vote.

Based on the voting results and project rankings using ranked-choice voting methodology, the PBGR Steering Committee formally adopted the following projects (with estimated costs) to advance in the community.

In Ward 1 - $600,000 Total Investment

  1. Affordable Childcare for 2nd and 3rd Shift Workers ($150,000)
  2. **Supporting Victims of Domestic Violence and Human Trafficking ($100,000)
  3. **Youth Affordable Housing Support ($145,000)
  4. **Cleaning Up Grand Rapids ($75,000)
  5. *Community Reading Initiative for Violence Reduction ($50,000)
  6. *Citizen Advocacy Skills Academy ($80,000*) – Partially funded (from a requested $100,000) due to reaching total investment limit

In Ward 2 - $400,000 Total Investment

  1. Mental Health Community First Responders ($350,000)
  2. CURE Violence – 2nd Ward ($50,000 PB*** + additional possible investment)

***Partially funded (from a requested $250,000) due to reaching total investment limit

In Ward 3 - $1 million Total Investment

  1. Lead Water Line Replacement ($500,000)
  2. Affordable Childcare for 2nd and 3rd Shift Workers ($150,000)
  3. Youth Affordable Housing Support ($145,000)
  4. Community-Based Violence Reduction Initiative ($205,000*)

* Projects distributed in first round of RFPs – March 2023

** Projects distributed in second round of RFPs – June 2023

For a list of these projects with descriptions of each, please visit For the final vote tally, please CLICK HERE.

The City of Grand Rapids’ participatory budgeting initiative is a democratic process that allows residents the opportunity to help determine how public funds are spent. To learn more about the project, please visit,, and


Tagged as: