AARP Awards Grants to Seven Pennsylvania Organizations as Part of its Nationwide Program to Make Communities More Livable

Published: Jun. 29, 2022 at 2:09 PM EDT

HARRISBURG, Pa., June 29, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, AARP Pennsylvania announced that seven organizations will receive 2022 Community Challenge grants – part of the largest group of grantees to date with $3.4 million awarded among 260 organizations nationwide. Grantees will implement quick-action projects that help communities become more livable in the long-term by improving public places; transportation; housing; diversity, equity and inclusion; digital access; and civic engagement, with an emphasis on the needs of adults age 50 and over.

"AARP Pennsylvania is incredibly proud to collaborate with these organizations as they work to make immediate improvements in their communities, encourage promising ideas, and jumpstart long-term change," said State Director Bill Johnston-Walsh. "Our goal at AARP is to support the efforts of our communities to be great places for people of all backgrounds, ages and abilities."

Here in Pennsylvania, projects awarded Community Challenge Grant funding include:

  • Utility Emergency Services Fund (UESF): Will connect older Philadelphians to UESF assistance sites, where UESF will work to stabilize their housing by addressing their immediate challenges while removing the barriers to long-term housing stability.
  • Center in the Park:  Will create a community café with free wifi access in a senior center primarily used by adults 55+. This transformation of space will challenge ageist perceptions of senior centers in the broader community.
  • Clean Air Council: Will create new senior focused programming and install two ADA compliant kiosks to serve as both community bulletin boards and park maps that encourage recreation while connecting residents to Cobbs Creek Park – a crucial greenspace in densely populated West and Southwest Philadelphia – that connects neighborhoods and provides a safe route for exercise, recreation and commuting to work.
  • Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation: Will activate public space to engage older adults in designing a community-based vision for a capping project, which will reconnect a neighborhood divided and displaced by expressway construction in the 1960s.
  • Thomas Jefferson University: Will provide educational programming and unite local older adults with young adults in West Philadelphia to build four accessible, senior-friendly gardens in collaboration with Jefferson's Park.
  • Lawrenceville United: Will celebrate and memorialize the stories of older neighbors, especially older women, and their contributions to this northeast Pittsburgh  community through an oral history collection and a lasting public art project.
  • West Chester Public Library: Will expand this southeastern Philadelphia library outdoors with three tables with seating and umbrellas, including one ADA compliant seat, for reading, programs, wireless use, and socializing, to benefit all, including the 39 percent of active library patrons who are 50-plus.

AARP Community Challenge grant projects will be funded in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. True to the program's quick-action nature, projects must be completed by November 30, 2022.

This year, AARP is bolstering its investment of affordable and adaptable housing solutions in response to the national housing crisis. With additional funding support from Toyota Motor North America, the program is also increasing its support of projects that improve mobility innovation and transportation options.

The grant program is part of AARP's nationwide Livable Communities initiative, which supports the efforts of cities, towns, neighborhoods and rural areas to become great places to live for people of all ages. Since 2017, AARP Pennsylvania has awarded seven grants and $92,427 through the program to nonprofit organizations and government entities across the state.

View the full list of grantees and their project descriptions at aarp.org/CommunityChallenge and learn more about AARP's Livable Communities work at aarp.org/Livable.

About AARP

AARP is the nation's largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation's largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org, www.aarp.org/espanol or follow @AARP, @AARPenEspanol and @AARPadvocates, @AliadosAdelante on social media.

MEDIA CONTACT:
TJ Thiessen | tthiessen@aarp.org | 202-374-8033

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SOURCE AARP Pennsylvania

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