By Rachel Holliday Smith – DNAInfo.com
Calling all neighborhood do-gooders!
A local nonprofit has $100,000 to give to Crown Heights movers and shakers who want funds to improve the neighborhood, and a group of local residents will ultimately decide who gets the money.
The Brooklyn Community Foundation is taking applications for the Crown Heights Grant Program now through Sept. 23, staff said. The organization is looking for groups and individuals seeking to improve the area in four areas: housing rights, “cross cultural learning,” youth opportunities and “transparent and accountable policing.”
Non-profits are welcome to apply, said BCF senior associate Prachi Patankar, but more informal groups and individual workers are welcome, too.
Grants for individuals will range from $5,000 and $10,000; groups will be awarded between $10,000 and $25,000.
A group of longtime residents, business owners, religious leaders and organizers called the Crown Heights Advisory Council will work with the foundation to award the funds, BCF said.
Applicants must have at least three years of experience working in Crown Heights.
“This is really about believing that the way you strengthen the neighborhood is about supporting the leadership here and supporting their ideas,” said BCF’s director of community leadership Tynesha McHarris. “We believe the expertise is in the neighborhood.”
And it’s also about the foundation connecting to the neighborhood, said Liane Stegmaier, BCF’s communications director. The group moved from DUMBO to a new office building at 1000 Dean St. last year.
“We wanted to start first in Crown Heights because when we moved here, we wanted to show that we were really invested in the neighborhood and, for us, it wasn’t just about good rent and a cool building,” she said.
Applicants for the Crown Heights Grant Program are encouraged to download an application on the Brooklyn Community Foundation’s website, or can email [email protected] or call (718) 480-7500 with questions.
BCF said the winners of the grants will be announced in November.