"Mini-grant" program gives individual Cleveland residents up to $250 to improve their neighborhoods

CLEVELAND - If you’ve ever wanted to fix, change, or improve something in your neighborhood, Cleveland Neighborhood Progress’ “mini-grant” program is right up your alley.

Any Cleveland resident can apply and receive up to $250 to fund a project — from block parties and park beautification to youth programs.

“As long as it brings people together in the neighborhood, it could be funded,” said Susan Gordon with Slavic Village Development. “It’s also a great fix if there is a problem in the neighborhood that residents want to come together and address but they just don’t have funds to do it.”

Since 2015, Cleveland Neighborhood Progress, partnering with community development groups, has handed out nearly $20,000 in grant money to fund 75 projects in every corner of Cleveland.

The point is to get people to take pride in their neighborhoods — and feel empowered to make a change, even if its a small one.

Recent grant recipients include the purchase of trophies and uniforms for the Slavic Village Bears cheerleaders, Lego sets for the Rockport Library, and park beautification in the Union-Miles neighborhood.

For the cheerleaders — 25 girls ages 5 to 14 — the money has helped keep spirits high.

“Things that the parents couldn't buy for the girls we were able to get with the grant,” said coordinator Mayia Allen. “Because some girls feel ashamed if they can’t pay so if no one knows they can’t pay, it’s no problem.”

The 3-page application for the mini-grants can be found here. It simply asks what the funds will be used for — and asks residents to partner with their neighborhood community development corporation.

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