From 2015 through 2018, Richmond Love Your Block was funded by Cities of Service, an independent nonprofit that awarded the Community Services Department a $30,000 grant and deployed two AmeriCorps VISTA members to implement Love Your Block. Richmond, California was one of seven cities awarded the grant.
During this period, Richmond Love Your Block awarded 20 mini-grants to residents and organizations for community beautification projects in Richmond. Led by your own neighbors down the street, these projects ranged from community gardens to neighborhood clean-ups. Throughout each project, the Community Services Department and other city departments worked together with residents and community members to provide city services and support.
After completing the Cities of Service grant in 2018, the Community Services Department incorporated Richmond Love Your Block as a program of the department.
Beginning in 2021, the mini-grant program of Love Your Block was reintroduced through a partnership between the Community Services Department and the City Manager's Office, Economic Development. A resolution was approved by City Council on December 17, 2019, approving a solid waste Franchise Fee adjustment of a 7.5 percent increase to develop I Heart Richmond. The funding can be used for: 1) Compliance and enforcement of local and state solid waste reduction and recycling laws; 2) Prevention of litter and blight; and 3) Improving overall environmental quality and health. The Franchise Fee now funds the Love Your Block Mini-Grant Program.
Today, Richmond Love Your Block continues to support Richmond residents in completing their own beautification projects. As one big team, all of us here in Richmond can beautify our blocks, improve neighborhood safety, and love our community.
Cities of Service
An independent nonprofit organization, Cities of Service helps mayors and city leaders tap the knowledge, creativity, and service of citizens to solve public problems and create vibrant cities. Cities of Service works with cities to build city-led, citizen-powered initiatives that target specific needs, achieve long-term and measurable outcomes, improve the quality of life for residents, and build stronger cities.
Started in 2009 by New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, the Cities of Service Coalition now comprises over 260 cities, representing over 73 million people across the Americas and Europe.
Photo credits: Cities of Service