Mayor awards $75,000 in grants to neighborhood associations

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May 8th, 2014

Omaha, NE — Community members gathered Wednesday at inCommon Community Development to receive grants from the 2014 Neighborhood Grants program.

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Twenty-six neighborhood associations received their share of $75,000 to put towards beautification projects, employment programs and events for youths.

Mayor Jean Stothert said there were an overwhelming number of applicants for this year’s grants.

Christian Gray is the executive director of inCommon Community Development. He stands in front of Park Tower North where the "You are Here" mural will be painted. (Photo Courtesy KVNO News)

Christian Gray is the executive director of inCommon Community Development. He stands in front of Park Tower North where the “You are Here” mural will be painted. (Photo Courtesy KVNO News)

“…Which shows the strength of your organizations and your willingness to work with the city on projects that make  us all proud. Great ideas come from the ground up, and we are able to fund a lot of great ideas today,” Stothert said.

Rosalind Moore of the Miller Parl-Minne Lusa Neighborhood Association said the grant will be used to partner with the Omaha Police Department’s Northeast Precinct Advisory Committee to sponsor an event for children to build trustworthy relationships with police officers.

“We figured that if we could bridge the gap at an early age, that they can grow up and respect and utilize them for what they are really meant to be,” Moore said.

Christian Gray is the executive director of inCommon. The group coordinated the effort to partner with three neighborhood associations on the “You Are Here” project. The Leavenworth, Hanscom Park and Ford Birthsite Neighborhood Associations joined to create the community-based public art project that will highlight and beautify Park Towers.

“This was really a way for us to celebrate the history and the story and the diversity of the Park Avenue strip,” Gray said. “All three neighborhoods share this avenue and there is a great quality about it. We’re trying to come together and say what makes us unique and special and what stories do we want to communicate outside of Omaha or inside of Omaha about Park Avenue.”

The total project is $30,000 and they received nearly $12,000 from the grants program.

He said the associations plans to continue fundraising. They will also host a series of listening sessions at Park Towers to gain first-hand point of views on life on Park Avenue.

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