AARP is working in partnership with local leaders, organizations and dedicated residents to help make California more livable for residents of all ages. As part of that effort, AARP is excited to announce the largest investment of grant dollars to date through the Community Challenge grant program. More than $3.4 million in quick-action grants are being distributed to 260 organizations across all 50 states, Washington D.C, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The Community Challenge funds innovative projects that inspire change in areas such as transportation; public spaces; housing; diversity, equity, and inclusion; civic engagement; and more. This year, with additional funding support from Toyota Motor North America, the program is also increasing its investment in projects that improve mobility innovation and transportation options.
AARP is also bolstering its support of affordable and adaptable housing solutions in response to the national housing crisis, as well as those that address disparities through permanent or temporary solutions. Many of this year’s projects also include ways to help communities leverage funding under the American Rescue Plan Act and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
AARP California is incredibly proud to have nine grantees right here in our state. Our goal is to support their efforts to create great places for people of all backgrounds, ages and abilities. As local leaders seek to better their communities for the future, this becomes even more critical.
Here in California, 2022 funded projects include:
- Bayside Community Center: The grant will help transform an underutilized dirt patch at the Linda Vista Community Park in San Diego County into a community garden that provides produce for a local environmental learning center and serves as an alternative food source for a largely food desert area.
- Community Economic Development Association Pollock Pines: The grant will help fund the first public park in Pollock Pines, a historically themed, fully inclusive, multigenerational park that will feature a nature trail, age-friendly outdoor fitness equipment.
- Disabled Services Advisory Council, City of San Diego Parks: The grant will help transform an overgrown lot at the Park de la Cruz Community Center into a garden with raised flower beds and accessible seating for people of all ages and abilities.
- Lake Links: The grant will help fund a new, easy-to-use ride service program, run by volunteer drivers, serving older adults and people with disabilities in Lake County.
- Los Angeles Conservation Corps: The grant will help fund community planting events at the multigenerational Compton Creek Natural Park to replace white alder trees with drought-tolerant species and surround them with native plants.
- Peninsula Volunteers, Inc.: The grant will help fund the program expansion of a reduced-cost ride service for older adults in San Mateo County who are in need of transportation support.
- Providence St. Jude Medical Center: The grant will help fund training sessions on outdoor fitness equipment in four different local parks across Los Angeles County that are frequented by local older adults.
- SF Tech Council – Community Living Campaign: The grant will help fund pop-up events that offer free, multilingual tech support to older adults in four underserved neighborhoods in the City and County of San Francisco.
- Tenderloin Community Benefit District: The grant will help transform an unwelcoming alleyway in San Francisco’s Tenderloin District into an enlivened public passing space that has murals, planters, tables, ADA-compliant benches, live musical performances and more.
The Community Challenge is part of AARP’s nationwide work on livable communities, which supports the efforts of neighborhoods, towns, cities and counties across the country to become great places for all residents. We believe that communities should provide safe, walkable streets; affordable and accessible housing and transportation options; access to needed services; and opportunities for residents to participate in community life.
To learn more about the work being funded by the AARP Community Challenge both here in California as well as across the nation, visit aarp.org/CommunityChallenge. You can also view an interactive map of all of the Community Challenge projects and AARP California’s livable communities work at aarp.org/livable.