City-wide campaign encourages revitalization of Huntington neighborhoods

The+Love+Your+Block+campaign+aims+to+revitalize+neighborhoods+in+Huntington+one+block+at+a+time.

photo courtesy of Nathan Thomas

The Love Your Block campaign aims to revitalize neighborhoods in Huntington one block at a time.

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Parts of Huntington have a chance to be revitalized one block at a time through Huntington’s Love Your Block campaign.

The Love Your Block competition, sponsored by Cities of Service, is a national competition aimed at engaging with and revitalizing communities that are deemed ‘low-income.’ In 2018, Huntington was one of 10 cities in the United States to win the Cities of Service City Hall AmeriCorps Volunteer In Service To America, or VISTA, Love Your Block competition.

That win resulted in the implementation of two AmeriCorps VISTA members, LaNette Hunter and Nathan Thomas. For a duration of two years, Hunter and Thomas will work with the city to manage the mini-grant program.

“Huntington was awarded $25,000 to be used for mini-grants in the target area of 7th Street West to 14th Street West between Madison and Adams avenues,” Bryan Chambers, communications director for the city of Huntington, said.

This year, the city of Huntingtonand the AmeriCorps VISTA members, took applications to allocate the reward money to the winner of the Love Your Block competition.

“Love Your Block is an initiative to revitalize neighborhoods one block at a time,” Hunter said. “Mini-grants and city resources will be provided to support the efforts of citizen groups and local non-profits to fight blight, things that hinder community growth through home repairs, lot transformations and community clean-ups.”

Mini-grants, totaling $1,500 each, are awarded to the best grant submissions. These applications can be made for various needs one may think the city needs help with, Chambers said.

“Mini-grant funding include, but are not limited to, enhancing public space and vacant lots, organizing community programs and services and minor exterior home improvements,” Chambers said. “While recruiting volunteers is important to the applications, city services that will be made available through the program include providing trash collection services and litter cleanup supplies, cleaning up city-owned lots and pruning overgrown, city-owned trees.”

Overall, the initiative seeks to improve the city’s appeal and functionality for residents, specifically in areas that may be overlooked, Thomas said.

“The purpose is to encourage neighborhoods to take ownership of their community by providing funding and resources for volunteer projects, and to make our communities a more sightful place to live,” Thomas said.

Applications for the competition are due by March 8.

Trey Delida can be contacted at [email protected]