Today, AARP announced the awardees for its 2019 AARP Community Challenge grant program, including three recipients in Oregon. A total of nearly $1.6 million will be distributed to fund 159 “quick action” projects across the country, helping communities make immediate improvements and jumpstart long-term progress to support residents of all ages.
“AARP Community Challenge Grants fund projects that can inspire change in areas such as transportation, open spaces, housing, smart cities and more, said AARP State Director Ruby Haughton-Pitts. “It’s exciting to see the creative ways cities and nonprofits can use some seed money to enliven their communities.” The Oregon winners include the cities of Salem and Talent and the nonprofit Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon.
Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon will engage elders in Portland’s Jade District and teach them to use technology to increase mobility and connect to community resources. The Jade District is one of the most diverse census tracts in the city and a low-income neighborhood.
“Elders in our community face difficulties in technology and language access to our transit system. We do this program to help and support. They deserve to be empowered and have access to reliable safe transportation” said Wanna Lei, Community Organizer.
City of Salem and Center 50+ will hold “Downtown Pop-Up Summer Programming” that will foster positive interactions among people of all ages and abilities with free, inter-generational classes that are open to the public.
“This creative new ‘pop up classes’ collaboration in our downtown shopping district is the latest in this exciting project,” with Center 50+ said Salem Mayor Chuck Bennett.
Talent Maker City will create innovative programs to include older adults in intergenerational learning opportunities. Building on City of Talent’s status as an officially designated “Bee City,” the program will have a fun pollinator theme and support proliferation of and interest in pollinator gardens in the city.
“We are thrilled to have AARP’s generous support of our inclusive effort to cultivate an age-friendly community in Talent through hands-on creativity.” Ryan Wilcoxson, Executive Director.
Nearly 1,700 Community Challenge Grant applications were received from non-profits and government entities for the program, now in its third year. The full list of grantees can be found at www.aarp.org/communitychallenge.
The Community Challenge grant program is part of AARP’s nationwide Livable Communities initiative which helps communities become great places to live for residents of all ages. As part of this, AARP staff and volunteers are working across the country, engaging and mobilizing residents, delivering technical assistance and expertise to local leaders and organizations, and supporting the work of the 381 communities and four states that have enrolled in the AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities.