Mini-grant helps community leaders create aging-well guide

Forest Hill resident Jack Kenney with his Aging Well At Home Guide.

Forest Hill neighbors Sue Kenney and Judy Charlick saw a need for a resource about at-home services for the aging members of their community. Through discussions with others involved in a local social activity committee, they decided to do some research and compile a list of nonprofit and public organizations that could benefit the older population. The result: Cleveland Heights Aging Well At Home Resource Guide. 

“This document lists background info about services available by category.  For example, grocery delivery, home repair assistance, social activities, and transportation,” Kenney said. Both the city of Cleveland Heights and the Forest Hill Homeowners Association offer online access to the guide, which can be found at https://chparks.com/DocumentCenter/View/527/CH-Aging-Well-At-Home-Resource-Guide-May-2019.

Kenney and Charlick soon discovered that some of the older members of the community don’t have access to (or knowledge about) the technology required to find the guide online. If they wanted it to reach everyone it could benefit, they were going to need a hard-copy version, something that proved a strain to fund on their own.

Kenney and Charlick searched for partners to help finance the process; it was during that phase that they met Sruti Basu, director of community-building programs at FutureHeights, who suggested the pair apply for a mini-grant to cover printing costs.

“The application process was straightforward, relatively easy,” Kenney said. They submitted their paperwork and then met with a panel to discuss their ideas in person. “They appeared very interested in our initiative, very aware of the need for this type of resource,” Kenney said. 

After the two-step application process, Kenney and Charlick were awarded $720 to proceed with their project in spring 2019. “We were ecstatic to get the funding. A few days after learning of the grant receipt, we began planning and executing—identifying volunteers, purchasing printing supplies, getting documents printed. We started right away,” Kenney said. 

Thanks to the FutureHeights mini-grant, they were able to meet their goal of printing and distributing 240 resource guides.

Twice annually, FutureHeights offers mini-grants of up to $1,000 for neighborhood projects like Kenney and Charlick’s. The goal of the program is to support neighborhood leaders by supplying some funding to turn their community-driven dreams into reality. 

Details about the program and how to apply can be found at www.futureheights.org/programs/community-building-programs/ or by e-mailing sbasu@futureheights.org. The next deadline is March 15, 2020.

FutureHeights invites all community members to the 2019 Neighborhood Mini-Grant Celebration, to mix and mingle with past and current mini-grant recipients, at The BottleHouse (2050 Lee Road) on Dec. 10 at 7 p.m.

Sarah Wolf

Sarah Wolf is an intern at FutureHeights, a resident of Cleveland Heights, and a graduate-level community practice student at MSASS/Case Western Reserve University.

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Volume 12, Issue 12, Posted 4:11 PM, 12.02.2019