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Chatham County, NC

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Engaging residents in vibrant public places

Description: When the owner of the Bynum General Store in Pittsboro retired, neighbors established a nonprofit organization called Bynum Front Porch, which turned the shop into a community center and performance space. When the COVID-19 pandemic arrived, grant funds -- and the power of high-speed internet -- enabled the venue to livestream its monthly storytelling workshops and musical events. Bynum Front Porch set up a recording equipment in the space, allowing the nonprofit to reach older adults, former residents and others unable to gather in person. In the years since, Bynum Front Porch has continued to stream live performance and archive shows on its YouTube channel.

Fairbury, NE

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2023

Project Category: Engaging residents in vibrant public places

Description: This project will upgrade a community center by adding an indoor walking track, internet connectivity and wireless devices to expand programing and provide a safe recreational space for older residents.

Omaha, NE

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2018

Project Category: Engaging residents in vibrant public places

Description: The North Omaha neighborhood has experienced economic challenges due to a local history of systemic racism and environmental pollution. ONE Omaha set out to invest in the community, supporting neighborhood associations' work to address local concerns. They hosted Omaha NeighborFest 2018, an gathering aimed at teaching residents community development skills. At the event, ONE Omaha conducted a series of workshops and demonstrations on how to activate spaces and engage people. More than 600 city residents attended, including those historically left out of local decision making. The event spurred tangible change in the neighborhood, including a beautification effort to install recycling kiosks and a new mural honoring the Tuskegee Airmen.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

Honolulu, HI

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Innovative home maintenance, repair and support services

Description: Oahu is home to many older adults hoping to age in place. However, aging homes can make this difficult. Working with Palolo Chinese Home, Age-Friendly Honolulu created the Safe Homes 4 Kapuna program, which provides aging-in-place education, as well as home assessments and modifications, to older adults in the Palolo Valley neighborhood. The program produced print and electronic versions of a booklet, called Hale4Kapuna. The publication includes tips about renters' rights, permitting processes, funding sources and types of home modifications beneficial for older adults, as well as information on home assessments and basic handyman work. The group also provided home assessments to six older adults residing in the Palolo Valley.

Honolulu, HI

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: While Hawaii is known for beaches and lush mountains, many urban areas lack accessible green space. To give residents outdoor space, Better Block Hawaii planned, designed and installed two parklets in Honolulu's Kalihi neighborhood. Working with the City of Honolulu to identify areas of need, they installed the first parklet at Richie's Drive Inn, transforming a parking area into a mini park with tables, benches, planters and a mural. Parklets help local businesses extend their storefronts onto the sidewalk and boost revenue by creating cozy, inviting gathering places.

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