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Love Your Block - Jackson, TN announces awardees of small home repair and mini-grant project grants
Posted on 06/02/2022

JACKSON, Tenn.Love Your Block – Jackson, TN is pleased to announce the awardees of the small home repair and mini-grant project grants.

In 2021, the City of Jackson was selected by Cities of Service as one of eight cities in the US to receive the Love Your Block grant. LYBJacksonTN is a 2-year mini-grant program that supports resident-driven improvement projects in the Midtown, Downtown, and East Jackson neighborhoods, with an exclusive focus on the East Jackson neighborhood during the program’s first year.

“The object of our program is to inspire unity within communities that empowers residents to streamline the changes they want for their neighborhood,” said Jameson Colbert, LYBJacksonTN Fellow. “This was a competitive process, and we are extremely proud of the work and effort shown by this grant cycle's awardees.”

The Mini-grants will provide funding for projects that can help revitalize and remediate blighted properties and spaces within the neighborhood to improve the quality of life in East Jackson. Community groups and individuals were eligible to apply for up to $1,500 to fund projects that will revitalize and beautify the East Jackson neighborhood.

“Congratulations to all of the Love Your Block – Jackson, TN grant-award recipients,” said Mayor Scott Conger. “The LYBJacksonTN team has done an excellent job facilitating this process and I look forward to seeing the completed projects.”

Project proposals were reviewed by a committee and of the 13 of applications submitted, three were selected for small home repair and four were selected as mini-grant project winners. The submission process lasted for over a month, and during that time the LYBJacksonTN team worked one-on-one with many applicants to help them complete their applications and come up with eligible projects.

“The selection process for this first year really relied on completion of all portions of the application, adherence to application instructions, and detailed budget proposals," said Abby Palmer, LYBJacksonTN AmeriCrop VISTA. "The winners submitted excellent, well-thought-out project proposals that will make a visible, positive difference in their neighborhood, and we are very excited to work with these residents in the coming months.”

Project Winners

Small Home Repair Grant: Eligibility requirements include three or more homeowners residing in East Jackson within visible distance of each other per application, project proposals that do not exceed $1,500 per home, and the ability to recruit neighbors and other residents of East Jackson to participate in project.

  • Project Name: Cartmell St.
    Homeowners and Project Leads: Celestine Miller, Helen Borner, Ermogene Bond
    Project: Painting, walkway/driveway repair and installation, porch repair, pressure washing, landscaping

  • Project Name: Lincoln St.
    Homeowners and Project Leads: Marilyn Rucker, Gwendolyn Majors, Marcella Thomas
    Project: Porch repair, door replacement, concrete repair, pressure washing

  • Project Name: Gates St.
    Homeowners and Project Leads: Glenda Bonds, Cynthia Jones, Jonah Affordable Housing
    Project: Door replacement, porch repair, painting, landscaping, pressure washing

Mini-Grant Project Winners: Eligibility requirements include project proposal for location within East Jackson that will be open to the public, project proposal budget that does not exceed $1,500, and the ability to recruit neighbors and other residents of East Jackson to approve and participate in project.

  • Project Name: Jackson's Black Trailblazers: Past, Present, and Future
    Project Leads: Trunetta Atwater, Stephanie Graham
    Project: Banner photographs/art for light poles in the parking lot of the Train Depot, home of Soul Collective, that represent black trailblazers in Jackson over time.
  • Project Name: Booker St. Community Garden
    Project Leads: Marilyn Rucker, Gwendolyn Majors, Terrica Cole
    Project: Community garden to be used by the neighborhood and to supply healthy, fresh food to the surrounding community.
  • Project Name: Sarah's House
    Project Leads: Wendellyn Trice Martin, Jennifer Bron, Joe Martin
    Project: Historical museum dedicated to pictorial Black History in Jackson.
  • Project Name: Majors Enterprises, LLC
    Project Leads: Gwendolyn Majors, William Scarborough, Marilyn Rucker
    Project: Solar panel installation project to provide a free energy source to the community for charging phones, hooking up small equipment, and more in a communal meeting space.

About Cities of Service

Cities of Service helps mayors build stronger cities by changing the way local government and residents work together. We help our coalition cities tap into resident insights, skills, and service to identify and solve critical public problems. Founded in 2009 by New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Cities of Service supports a coalition of more than 280 cities, representing more than 84 million people across the Americas and Europe. Now situated at Johns Hopkins University, you can learn more about Cities of Service at citiesofservice.jhu.edu and by following us on Twitter @citiesofservice.

Since its founding, Cities of Service has helped cities implement change through the use of its Impact Volunteering strategy. This signature strategy engages resident volunteers to identify and solve pressing public problems alongside municipal government. It is a participatory process in which residents and city officials develop a shared vision, set short- and long-term goals for their community, and then work together to achieve those goals. As partners, they communicate throughout the process and reflect on their work – discussing and evaluating what they have done and holding themselves accountable for results.

About Love Your Block

The Cities of Service Love Your Block program brings city leaders and residents together to build stronger neighborhoods, one block at a time. Typically, cities implementing Love Your Block invite community groups to identify priority projects and award mini-grants to support neighborhood-driven solutions that the community can implement. From turning vacant lots into community gardens to helping elderly neighbors with home repairs to avoid fines and safely age in place, resident volunteers are “loving their blocks'' and making them, and their cities, better places to live.

The benefits of Love Your Block go well beyond physical improvements. A 2021 Urban Institute study found that social networks sparked by deep resident-to-city-hall engagement can instigate neighborhood-level improvements in addition to larger, sustainable improvements to municipal practices and policies. Love Your Block activates and builds social networks between residents, their neighbors, and city hall. This resident-to-city hall engagement can lead to collective efficacy that is often bidirectional: city officials can leverage neighborhood social capital in service of mayoral goals and residents can leverage greater responsiveness from officials to address their needs and priorities. In other words, Love Your Block is a starting point for cities to more meaningfully engage their residents and improve communities in holistic and sustainable ways.

Special thanks to title sponsors, Christian Brothers Automotive and Wes Harris State Farm

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