Greater Huntington COVID-19 Response Hub

Love Your Block West Huntington

Love Your Block is a series of community projects determined by the residents and business owners in West Huntington. Our program provides funding for projects and ideas developed by community members to improve their neighborhoods and blocks through low cost, high impact change.

Love Your Block volunteers believe their efforts increase public safety and community ownership of public spaces. Past projects include turning vacant lots into public gardens, painting over graffiti with colorful murals, removing trash from playgrounds, and helping elderly neighbors with simple home repairs. Community volunteers are making their neighborhoods better places to live, work, and play.

Huntington, West Virginia was chosen as one of ten cities awarded $25,000 to be used for funding that supports volunteer-fueled solutions developed by the community for the community. In addition, two AmeriCorps VISTA members serve in each winning city’s city hall to build capacity and raise awareness. The program is made possible with support from Cities of Service, Bloomberg Philanthropies, and the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS).


GRANT APPLICATIONS - Currrently Closed

THE DEADLINE FOR 2020 LYB APPLICATIONS IS MARCH 15, 2020

Need some help filling out the form? Come to one of our workshops in February or contact us to set up a one-on-one appointment!

REQUIREMENTS FOR VOLUNTEER LED PROJECT APPLICATIONS:

  • The project is located in the West End of Huntington
    • Between 1st Street and 28th Street West from river to rail 
  • Grant amount requested is at or below $2,000
  • Project is spearheaded by an individual, organization, or group
  • Project is volunteer-led and supported by the community
  • During the project, coordinate a pick-up of litter in the area the project is located
  • Applicant has 60 calendar days from the project start date to submit itemized receipts and/or return any unused portion of the funds to LYB West Huntington

Neighborhood Improvement Project (Online Form) 

Neighborhood Improvement Project (PDF)

REQUIREMENTS FOR SMALL HOME REPAIR APPLICATIONS:

  • Repairs are on the exterior of structures
  • The project is located in the West End of Huntington
    • Between 1st Street and the county line, river to rail
  • Grant amount requested is at or below $2,000
  • During the project, coordinate a pick-up of litter in the area the project is located
  • Applicant has 60 calendar days from the project start date to submit itemized receipts and/or return any unused portion of the funds to LYB West Huntington

Small Home Repair (Online form) 

Small Home Repair Application (PDF)


CONTACT US

facebook.com/WestHuntingtonLYB

instagram.com/lyb.west.huntington

Hours of Operation: 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM Monday through Friday and by appointment

Office Phone: (304) 696-5540 ext.2092

Fax: (304) 696-4465

LOVE YOUR BLOCK COORDINATORS - AMERICORPS VISTA:

CHARLOTTE RIESTENBERG

An image of CHARLOTTE RIESTENBERG

Email: riestenbergc@huntingtonwv.gov

Office Phone: (304) 696-5540 ext.2092

Charlotte Riestenberg recently graduated from Fairmont State University, earning her BS in History, with minors in Outdoor Recreation Leadership and Folklore Studies. She relocated to Huntington from her hometown of Clarksburg, West Virginia where she spent time working with the Harrison County West Virginia Historical Society as their part-time AmeriCorps member. During her service, she coordinated and led volunteer projects in preservation work, as well as fundraising campaigns for the organization. She will be serving Huntington through the AmeriCorps VISTA Love Your Block program, and looks forward to creating positive change in the state and in this community.

SARAH SHORT

An image of SARAH SHORT

Email: shorts@huntingtonwv.gov

Cell: (304) 955-1309

Office Phone: (304) 696-5540 ext.2092

Sarah Short received her BA in Communication Studies and a minor in Human Services from West Virginia University. Before moving to Huntington, Sarah previously completed a year of service as an AmeriCorps VISTA in Beckley with the WV Hive Network as the Outreach Assistant. During her time at the WV Hive, Sarah produced four business idea pitch competitions, two open houses, and numerous other events. Sarah is devoted to community service and the state of West Virginia. She is very excited about becoming a Love Your Block Coordinator - VISTA and the opportunity to use her skills to help revitalize the community of West End.


Past Success

Seven out of fifteen grants applicants were awarded funds in LYB West Huntington’s first service year, 2018-2019.

  • Two separate small home repair projects
  • Raised pollinator bee garden bed at The Wild Ramp
  • Street sign painting/refurbishing
  • Gazebo beautification effort
  • Community Sanctuary Lot transformation: Blessings Box and Tiny Library
  • Sidewalk repairs and tree planting

FAQ

What is Love Your Block?

Love Your Block is an initiative to revitalize neighborhoods one block at a time, combating urban blight and making communities better places to live. Mini-grants and city resources will be provided to support the efforts of citizen groups and local nonprofits to fight blight through home repairs, lot transformations, and community cleanups. In addition, two AmeriCorps VISTA members are embedded in City Hall to build capacity and raise awareness for the program.

How did Love Your Block start?

The Love Your Block grant program began in 2009, led by New York City’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the national nonprofit Cities of Service. Since then, Cities of Service has helped dozens of cities implement the program. In 2018, Huntington, alongside nine other legacy cities, was awarded $25,000 to be used for mini-grants and resources to support the efforts of citizen groups and local nonprofits to fight property blight through small home repairs, vacant lot activation, and community cleanups. In addition, two AmeriCorps VISTA members serve in each winning city’s city hall to build capacity and raise awareness.

Who is eligible to receive a grant?

Anyone! We welcome non-profits, individuals, and volunteer groups. We encourage anyone with an idea and a desire to help the West End to apply.

How much are the grants?

The amount of grant awards will depend on each project’s scope and outcomes.
The awarded grants will receive a maximum of $2,000.

What types of projects can be funded?

LYB projects can be wide-ranging, including service projects such as small home repairs, graffiti removal, tree planting, creating flower beds, and community gardens.

When will the next grant application window be?

The 2020 application will open February 1, 2020 and close March 15, 2020.

What/who are AmeriCorps VISTA?

AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) members build capacity in nonprofit organizations and public agencies to help them more effectively generate the commitment of private sector resources, encourage volunteer service at the local level, and empower individuals and communities. AmeriCorps VISTA members serve full-time for one-year terms

If I have more questions who can I talk to?

You can contact Love Your Block Coordinators, Charlotte Riestenberg and Sarah Short.

Email: riestenbergc@huntingtonwv.gov and shorts@huntingtonwv.gov

Phone: 304-696-5540 ext. 2092


Love Your Block - History

Love Your Block brings mayors together with citizens to revitalize their neighborhoods, one block at a time. From painting over graffiti with colorful murals to banishing trash from playgrounds, citizen volunteers are combating urban blight and making their blocks better places to live.

For its 2018 City Hall AmeriCorps VISTA Love Your Block program, Cities of Service awarded each winning city $25,000 to be used for mini-grants and resources to support the efforts of citizen groups and local nonprofits to fight property blight through home repairs, lot transformations, and community cleanups. In addition, two AmeriCorps VISTA members serve in each winning city’s city hall to build capacity and raise awareness. The program is made possible with support from Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS).

A recent study by the Urban Institute found that the connection that Love Your Block forges between city leaders and citizens at the neighborhood level can be one of the most important catalysts for collective action by neighborhood residents. This connection between city officials and citizens boosts the social capital exercised by citizens who plan and implement Love Your Block projects and strengthens social cohesion. Love Your Block volunteers believe their efforts also positively influence public safety and community ownership of public spaces.

Cities of Service launched the first City Hall AmeriCorps VISTA program in 2015 in Birmingham, Alabama; Boston, Massachusetts; Lansing, Michigan; Phoenix, Arizona; Richmond, California; and Seattle, Washington.

Since 2009, Cities of Service has helped dozens of cities implement Love Your Block. More than 9,000 community members have revitalized more than 2,200 blocks, including removing 5.6 million pounds of trash, creating 900 art displays, cleaning 60,000 square feet of graffiti, repairing over 70,000 square feet of community space, and maintaining over 730,000 square feet of public space. Love Your Block is so successful that additional coalition cities have chosen to implement the Love Your Block Blueprint on their own, without grant funding from Cities of Service.


Cities of Service logo


 

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