Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Community Revitalization Funding Opportunities III

And two last opportunities:

M&T Bank makes community improvement grants through their regional offices.

Local Initiatives Support Corporation and MetLife Foundation give an annual award to recognize, sustain and share the work of innovative partnerships between community groups and police to promote neighborhood safety and revitalization. Through the MetLife Foundation Community-Police Partnership Awards, MetLife Foundation and LISC identify and honor partnerships that exhibit tangible accomplishments in their efforts to advance the process, outcome, and evaluation of potent police-community collaborations.

Eligible applicants must be member organizations of partnerships that include, but need not be limited to, community organizations and police. Awardees receive a monetary grant and their work is promoted via case studies to a wide audience of practitioners, policymakers, and academics. For questions or for those interested in being notified of future funding opportunities, please email us at csi@lisc.org.

The website if very informative and relevant to Newburgh, so I suggest checking it out even if you're not interested in the award opportunity.

Community Revitalization Funding Opportunities II

More Funding Opportunities:

The Dyson Foundation has a Management Assistance Program (MAP) to help nonprofits in the Mid-Hudson Valley strengthen their organizations and find greater efficiencies in administration, operations, resource development and programming. Nonprofits can better focus on their core missions and serve their community when they are well managed and fiscally sound, have engaged boards and good governance, and rely on sound planning for strategic results.

Mid-Hudson Valley-based nonprofits can apply for these grants to improve operations, administration, and management. There are two major funding areas: the Mini-Grant Program and the Strategic Restructuring Initiative.

The Lander Street community center that the Newburgh Heights Association is interested in saving would be a prime candidate!

Community Revitalization Funding Opportunities

I've been coming across a lot of grant opportunities that organizations in Newburgh might be interested in. Since I don't know a lot of people, yet, I'm going to post the links here in the hopes that people will apply to them.

The Norman Foundation support efforts that strengthen the ability of communities to determine their own economic, environmental and social well-being, and that help people control those forces that affect their lives. These efforts may:
  • promote economic justice and development through community organizing, coalition building and policy reform efforts;
  • work to prevent the disposal of toxics in communities, and to link environmental issues with economic and social justice;
  • link community-based economic and environmental justice organizing to national and international reform efforts.

They will consider the following in evaluating grant proposals:

  • Does the project arise from the hopes and efforts of those whose survival, well-being and liberation are directly at stake?
  • Does it further ethnic, gender and other forms of equity?
  • Is it rooted in organized, practical undertakings?
  • Is it likely to achieve systemic change?

In pursuing systemic change, they would hope that:

  • the proposed action may serve as a model;
  • the spread of the model may create institutions that can survive on their own;
  • their establishment and success may generate beneficial adaptations by other political, social and economic institutions and structures.

The Foundation provides grants for general support, projects, and collaborative efforts. They also welcome innovative proposals designed to build the capacity of social change organizations working in our areas of interest. Priority is given to organizations with annual budgets of under $1 million.

City of Newburgh Grants and Loans

A quick update on the Facade Grant and Renovation Grant/Loans: there's a stipulation to the programs that the building cannot have any code violations, meaning it must be habitable and up to code in order to qualify for the grants. Unfortunately, Eddie's house doesn't have windows or plumbing/heating, therefore it is not up to code and not habitable.

Eddie's trying to make the argument that the combination of his own money, his own efforts and the city grants would allow him to fix the building and make it habitable. It's an uphill battle, though, and although the city officials seemed to be helpful at first, they have not returned his subsequent phone calls or emails. Sigh.

Anyway, it's a shame because the house is on a crucial corner and its occupancy could change the whole outlook of the neighborhood it's in. We attended the Newburgh Heights Association meeting last week, even though we don't live in the Heights, and they echoed the same sentiment that Eddie voiced to the City of Newburgh in an appeal letter - that every house makes a difference. Each abandoned or boarded-up property devalues the surrounding area and only perpetuates the cycle of crime, lowered neighborhood pride, and lower rates of owner-occupied housing.

It would be great to start up a Montgomery-Grand-Liberty Association, where there are lots of beautiful historic homes that need to be remembered and advocated for. And there are a lot of people already in the neighborhood who take care of their own properties, who I imagine wouldn't be opposed to expending energy on making sure other properties are taken care of.

Since we haven't done anything with the house in a while, we were shamed into taking some action...so, maybe this weekend we'll do some landscaping in the front yard.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Week Three in Newburgh

We've been living in Newburgh for almost three weeks! It's been hard adjusting to the commute, being so far away from friends and family, and not having a routine. We didn't take any time off work to adjust, and even though we're only a train ride into the city, I don't think I gave the journey its due.

To be more positive, I have been thinking it's a good opportunity to rebuild my life, to anticipate the baby and to live with less. Plus, Newburgh is only 30 minutes away from Ananda Ashram, a great place to meditate.

The neighbors at the next house over brought us a welcome basket the first weekend. Everything was homemade and delicious. The tomatoes, cucumbers and dill she used were grown in the yard. We also found mushrooms growing up through the gravel in the driveway. I picked a handful but haven't done the research to see if they're edible.

We had a barbecue last weekend and were so happy to see all our friends. It really made the apartment feel like a home.

I was in charge of the vegan portions: grilled vegetable sandwiches, dill beer bread, and vegetarian chili. Eddie made the Kansas City BBQ ribs and chicken.