We're Investing $100,000 in Ohio Communities

Posted on 06/29/22

Communities across Ohio are working to become more livable for residents of all ages.  

AARP is working in partnership with local leaders, organizations and dedicated residents to help make that vision a reality. As part of that effort, AARP is excited to announce the largest investment of grant dollars to date through the Community Challenge grant program. More than $3.4 million in quick-action grants are being distributed to 260 organizations nationwide, including $100,000 to organizations in Ohio.  

The Community Challenge funds innovative projects that inspire change in areas such as transportation; public spaces; housing; diversity, equity, and inclusion; civic engagement; and more. This year, with additional funding support from Toyota Motor North America, the program also is increasing its investment in projects that improve mobility innovation and transportation options.  

AARP also is bolstering its support of affordable and adaptable housing solutions in response to the national housing crisis, as well as those that address disparities through permanent or temporary solutions. Many of this year’s projects also include ways to help communities leverage funding under the American Rescue Plan Act and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. 

AARP Ohio's goal is to support community efforts to create great places for people of all backgrounds, ages and abilities. As local leaders seek to better their communities for the future, this becomes even more critical. Over the years, more than $387,000 have been awarded to communities statewide as part of the Community Challenge grant program. 

Here in Ohio, these organizations have been awarded grants for the following exciting and diverse projects: 

  • Boulevard Park Block Watch (Youngstown)–This grant will be used to construct two age-friendly and accessible parks in the middle of an established Youngstown neighborhood where close to 50% of the residents are older adults.  
  • Union Miles Development Corp. (Cleveland)–Union Miles is one of Cleveland’s most economically challenged neighborhoods. This grant will be used to make 100 home repairs, mostly under $500 in cost, on homes owned by older adults.  

  • Community Care Clinics (Toledo) – Funded through the Toyota grant – The funding will be used to construct an age-friendly bus shelter in front of Toledo’s free clinic, as well as establish a partnership with Uber Health to provide free transportation to older adults who cannot get to the Clinic on their own.  

  • City of Delaware Parks and Recreation – The grant will be used to construct a park and green space connected to multiple senior housing facilities. The new park’s amenities will include fitness equipment, age-friendly benches, programming space, shade structure, green space and safety lighting.  

  • Bhutanese Community of Central Ohio (Columbus) – With a population of approximately 28,000, the Bhutanese refugee community in Columbus is the largest in the nation. Many Bhutanese refugee women age 50+ are particularly marginalized and isolated. Living in multi-generational homes, they care for children and grandchildren and take care of cooking and cleaning. The funding from this grant will be used to create a culturally and linguistically responsive program that will connect these older women to local resources available through the public libraries, public transportation and parks and recreation facilities.  

The Community Challenge is part of AARP’s nationwide work on livable communities, which supports the efforts of neighborhoods, towns, cities and counties across the country to become great places for all residents. We believe that communities should provide safe, walkable streets; affordable and accessible housing and transportation options; access to needed services; and opportunities for residents to participate in community life.  

To learn more about the work being funded by the AARP Community Challenge both here in Ohio and across the nation, visit aarp.org/CommunityChallenge. You can also view an interactive map of this year’s Community Challenge projects and AARP Ohio’s livable communities work at livablemap.aarp.org

This story is provided by AARP Ohio. Visit the AARP Ohio page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

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