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City of Grand Rapids awards nearly $80,000 in Neighborhood Match Funds

Downtown Grand Rapids photo
Wikimedia | Grguy2011

The City of Grand Rapids has awarded nearly $80,000 in Neighborhood Match Funds for 2023. The matching funds are aimed at uniting communities and developing a deeper sense of belonging among neighbors.

The city matched funds for 25 projects, all of which are being led or co-led by a Grand Rapid’s resident.

Some of the winning projects include a sobriety walk promoting health and wellness for the Native American community, therapy support for Latinx adolescents, a victory garden workshop and funding to teach youth football.

Andrea Riley-Mukavetz is the Community Engagement Manager for the city’s Office of Equity and Engagement. She said for every dollar the city awards, the group must match that amount through any kind of combination that could include volunteer labor, goods and services or cash donations.

Riley-Mukavetz said this round’s winning projects succeeded in meeting the city’s goals for community building.

“I think that they really do reflect the diversity of Grand Rapids as well as how different groups understand belonging and relationship building and community responsibility,” she said.

About this year’s recipients, she said she appreciated the attention to youth. She pointed to organizations including Dream K.I.M. that held a motivational event for young women and Aim to Inspire’s upcoming prom for the special needs community as examples. She also commended the Grand Rapids Initiative for Leaders project to raise awareness around social justice education equity and for advocating for change for teens.

“These are groups that are identifying that the next generation needs a set of skills, a set of community mentorship and a network to uplift and affirm them and create spaces where they can be their authentic self,” she said.

Riley-Mukavetz said residents including community-based organizations located in the city can apply for the nextround of fundingstarting June 1 through June 30. She encourages interested individuals to reach out to the city if they need help.

“Even if you have half of an idea of what you want to do, we can be there to talk through these projects with you,” she said. “Don't be afraid to apply, just apply and let’s see what happens.”

Submissions for the next round of NMF will be for projects taking place from September 2023 through February 2024.