16 Love Your Block grants awarded

Allentown, Pennsylvania, at sunrise
Allentown, Pennsylvania, at sunrise
The Bloomberg Center for Public Innovation awards 16 Love Your Block grants

Each city will receive $100,000 for community-led revitalization projects, as well as dedicated support and training from AmeriCorps VISTA and a team of civic engagement experts from the Bloomberg Center for Public Innovation

The Bloomberg Center for Public Innovation at Johns Hopkins University today announced the 16 U.S. cities that will receive Love Your Block grants to fund resident-led, neighborhood revitalization projects in their communities.

From transforming vacant lots into community gardens to repairing playground equipment to removing trash and debris from a public right of way in addition to reducing blight and improving public spaces, a 2021 study by the Urban Institute found that cities who participated in Love Your Block were able to strengthen social cohesion among residents, increase civic participation, and build stronger relationships with community members-leading to greater trust in local government. Established and supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies, Love Your Block builds on the successful legacy of Cities of Service, which has helped hundreds of mayors and municipalities engage residents as a leading voice in public problem-solving since its launch by New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg in 2009.

Each city will receive $100,000 to support mini-grants for community-led revitalization projects and a Love Your Block fellow to support the city in this work. Cities will also receive a dedicated AmeriCorps VISTA and technical assistance and training from the Bloomberg Center for Public Innovation at Johns Hopkins’ team of civic engagement experts.

The cities awarded Love Your Block grants for 2024-26 include:
  • Allentown, Pennsylvania
  • Baltimore, Maryland
  • Charleston, South Carolina
  • Columbia, Missouri
  • Dallas, Texas
  • Durham, North Carolina
  • Evanston, Illinois
  • Fall River, Massachusetts
  • Gary, Indiana
  • Little Rock, Arkansas
  • Long Beach, California
  • Louisville, Kentucky
  • Port St. Lucie, Florida
  • Rapid City, South Dakota
  • Reno, Nevada
  • San Bernardino, California


"Love Your Block helps cities refine one of the most important skills required to drive innovation-the ability to center residents, work with communities, and turn localities into engines for co-creation and delivery," said Amanda Daflos, Executive Director of the Bloomberg Center for Public Innovation at Johns Hopkins. "While underpinning a groundswell of projects that improve public spaces and strengthen social connectedness, Love Your Block provides mayors with a model to continually foster the type of civic engagement and public innovation that builds trust in government, and we look forward to seeing this work-and the infrastructure it can inform-take off in more cities across the country."

Since its founding in 2009, Love Your Block has reached nearly 50,000 community members who have improved nearly 4,000 public spaces-creating nearly 800 art displays, cleaning 102,000 square feet of graffiti, and removing 6.7 million pounds of trash in cities nationwide. With today’s announcement, a total of 50 U.S. cities across 33 states will have received support through the program.

"Love Your Block provides mayors with a model to continually foster the type of civic engagement and public innovation that builds trust in government, and we look forward to seeing this work-and the infrastructure it can inform-take off in more cities across the country."

Amanda Daflos "AmeriCorps is proud to partner with the Bloomberg Center for Public Innovation at Johns Hopkins on the Love Your Block program," said Michael D. Smith, chief executive officer of AmeriCorps. "Together, we will continue to better lives and unlock opportunities to advance positive community experiences, public safety, resident quality of life, and civic participation."

From 2021-23, eight cities participated in the Love Your Block program-creating new community engagement and revitalization efforts in Albany, New York; Duluth, Minnesota; Erie, Pennsylvania; El Paso, Texas; Jackson, Tennessee; Salt Lake City, Utah; Shawnee, Oklahoma; and White Plains, New York.

"Our neighborhoods know what they need, and it’s our privilege to partner with community members and invest in making their ideas a reality," said Mayor Erin Mendenhall of Salt Lake City, Utah. "Thanks to the program, our city’s residents drove 56 activation events, installed 61 new neighborhood features and structures, planted 22 trees, and cleared 93,000 pounds of trash while building strong neighborhood partnerships through participation in and support from Love Your Block-which helped us transform historically marginalized and divested neighborhoods by elevating community-driven approaches to some of our greatest challenges."

"Thanks to support from Love Your Block, our city removed 31,000 pounds of trash and cleared 13,000 acres of land with the help of 1,025 volunteers through 80 community-led mini-grant projects," said Mayor Joe Schember of Erie, Pennsylvania. "We are thrilled to be expanding the program’s impact through new American Rescue Plan Act and Community Service Block Grant funds we have secured to sustain the initiative for our residents, because it is such a vital part of our holistic approach to get resources into the hands, hearts, and homes of those who need it the most."

Enabling residents to design, develop, and deliver programs and policies that improve communities is a critical part of the public sector innovation toolkit. Love Your Block is one of a number of programs that the Bloomberg Center for Public Innovation at Johns Hopkins supports to equip local governments as they unlock the insight, talent, and energy of their residents. To learn more, visit publicinnovation.jhu.edu/loveyourblock.