Kresge to award $6M for Detroit neighborhoods

Christine Ferretti
The Detroit News

Detroit — The Kresge Foundation is doling out $6 million in grants over the next three years to fund projects aimed at transforming Detroit neighborhoods, officials announced Wednesday.

The organization said the effort to spur and support Detroit’s neighborhoods is being provided through its Kresge Innovative Projects: Detroit.

Kresge’s latest commitment, officials said, builds on a three-year, $5 million pilot initiative that has supported 40 projects and 16 planning efforts from 2015-17. The effort has revived underused neighborhood buildings and turned blighted properties into greenways.

Kresge Detroit Program Director Wendy Lewis Jackson said the program aids Detroit residents to strengthen neighborhoods and improve quality of life.

“The outpouring of interest in grassroots change confirms our belief that neighborhood residents have the imagination and verve to make change,” Jackson said in a released statement. “What they need is financial backing and technical support.”

As in Kresge’s pilot, the program will support both planning and implementation activities. Planning grants of up to $35,000 are available as well as implementation grants of up to $150,000, officials said.

The program relaunch will also include more flexibility with the implementation timelines and technical support.

In addition to offering $1.5 million annually for projects, Kresge is granting an extra $500,000 each year to provide its grantees with technical assistance, officials said.

Applications for the first round are being accepted through Feb. 13. Kresge expects it will identify between 10 and 20 grant awards to be announced in May. Similar deadlines are anticipated for 2019 and 2020, officials noted.

Jackson said Kresge’s program mirrors other Detroit initiatives to upgrade city neighborhoods.

“Moving the energies of revitalization into neighborhoods across the city is the most important goal for this phase of Kresge’s work as it undeniably is for the city,” she said.

Kresge said last summer it would be providing $3 million in operating-support grants over three years to 21 neighborhood-based organizations in Detroit.

Applications for Kresge Innovative Projects: Detroit are open to organizations that have been operating for a minimum of two years, are located in and primarily serve the city, and have nonprofit status or are part of a college or university.

The entities also can submit applications to collaborate with religious groups, for-profits and others ineligible to apply on their own, officials said.

“The goal is to tap into the widest array of inspired community-builders as possible,” said Bryan Hogle, an officer for the Kresge Detroit program.

Outreach sessions for potential applicants will take place from 4:30-6 p.m. Jan. 23 at the Northwest Activities Center, 18100 Meyers, from 12:30-2 p.m. Jan. 25 at the Gleaners Community Food Bank, 2131 Beaufait, and 12:30-2 p.m. Jan. 31 at TechTown, 440 Burroughs.