City of Kansas City, MO

10/03/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 10/03/2023 14:02

Neighborhood Empowerment Grant

The Kansas City Neighborhood Services Department is thrilled to award 26 neighborhood organizations with the inaugural Neighborhood Empowerment Grant. $260,000 will be invested directly into community organizations through the grant program, with awards ranging from $2,000 to $10,000.

Mayor Pro Tem Ryana Parks-Shaw is instrumental in the Neighborhood Empowerment Grant program. Parks-Shaw introduced and supported the Neighborhood Empowerment Grant ordinance which provides funding for neighborhood organizations looking to make improvements for their residents.

"I was honored to work with neighborhoods to develop the legislation to empower and strengthen KC neighborhoods. Investing in neighborhoods can stimulate local businesses, attract new residents, and create job opportunities, leading to a thriving economy, said Ryana Parks-Shaw, Mayor Pro Tem and 5th District Councilmember.

This grant program will bolster community engagement, enhance neighborhood identity, and promote public safety strategies within Kansas City.

"We are happy to provide some funding to Kansas City's neighborhoods through the pilot Neighborhood Empowerment Grant program! The City learned what many neighborhood groups need and want to make their community thrive. We look forward to our partnerships from this program," said Forest Decker, Neighborhood Services Department Director.

The Neighborhood Services Department chose neighborhood projects that focused on the following categories:

  • Community Engagement: Encouraging active participation and involvement of residents in neighborhood initiatives and activities.
  • Enhancing Neighborhood Identity: Supporting projects celebrating each neighborhood's unique identity and culture.
  • Public Safety Strategies: Funding projects and programs that contribute to improved public safety within communities.
  • Quality of Life Improvements: Enabling necessary repairs and upgrades to enhance residents' safety and well-being.
  • Reducing Crime: Supporting efforts to reduce violence and other crimes through community-led projects.
  • Neighborhood Investment: Fostering neighborhood investment and development from within and outside the community.
  • Code Violation Reduction: Initiating measures to reduce code violations and improve the overall living conditions of residents.

"The Neighborhood Empowerment Grant, which is well overdue, will truly assist us and others and will help us return to a time of historic City investment in collective and individual neighborhoods providing access to an equitable quality of life for all residents," said Linda Brown, Blue Hills Neighborhood Association President.

"As always, I'm working to improve the beauty and structure of the homes in our neighborhood. I want to prevent gentrification in the historic neighborhood of South Round Top. My goal is to bring the community together and let them know that we are here, still alive, and we are a community that indeed loves, loves the community!!" said Bishop Gee, 29/30 Greenwood Urban District.

Eligibility for this grant program was open to not-for-profit neighborhood associations registered with the City of Kansas City or willing to partner with an existing registered association. Neighborhood organizations also had to be registered with the State of Missouri. The program's geographical scope encompassed neighborhoods from State Line Road to I-435 and Truman Road to 75th Street.

Below are the grant awardees:

  • 29/30 Greenwood Urban District
  • Blue Hills Neighborhood Association
  • Blue Valley Neighborhood Association
  • Boston Heights & Mt. Hope Neighborhood Association
  • East 23rd St Pac Neighborhood Association
  • Eastwood Hills Community Association
  • Foxtown East Neighborhood Association
  • Foxtown West Neighborhood Association in partnership with Grateful Education Foundation
  • Heart of the City Neighborhood Association, Inc. and Blue Hills Neighborhood Association, Inc.
  • Hispanic Economic Development Corporation (HEDC)
  • Holmes Garden Neighborhood Association
  • Ivanhoe Neighborhood Council
  • Key Coalition Inc Neighborhood
  • Marlborough Community Coalition (MCC)
  • Neighbors United For Action NUFA KC
  • Oak Park Neighborhood Association
  • Sacred Heart Neighborhood Association
  • Santa Fe Area Council
  • Sheraton Estates Neighborhood Association
  • Squier Park Neighborhood Association
  • Town Fork Creek
  • Troostwood Neighborhood Association
  • Vineyard Neighborhood Association
  • Washington Wheatley Neighborhood Association
  • Wendell Phillips Downtown East Neighborhood Association
  • Westside Neighborhood Association (WNA)

The Neighborhood Empowerment Grant program is committed to equipping neighborhoods in Kansas City to build or enhance vibrant, self-sustaining communities.