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OR Cities, Organizations Selected for AARP Community Grants

A revitalization project in downtown Salem is one of the grantees for the 2019 Community Challenge program. (M.O. Stevens/Wikimedia Commons)
A revitalization project in downtown Salem is one of the grantees for the 2019 Community Challenge program. (M.O. Stevens/Wikimedia Commons)
July 18, 2019

SALEM, Ore. – Three community projects in Oregon have been selected to receive grants from the 2019 AARP Community Challenge program.

The program awards funding for proposals that make cities more livable for people of all ages.

Among the winners is the City of Salem and Center 50-plus, which will hold summer pop-up programming downtown and provide intergenerational classes in a vacant storefront.

AARP Oregon State Director Ruby Haughton-Pitts says the project is an opportunity to revitalize the capital city.

"Our downtown areas, where we had our shops and restaurants and all of that, are starting to come back, and so anything that we can do to make those areas safe, more walkable, affordable and accessible really does improve a community," she states.

Other recipients include Talent Maker City, which offers intergenerational workshops for skills such as carpentry, ceramics and screen printing, and the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon, which will pilot a program in Portland's Jade District to help the community's elders use technology for mobility around town.

The Jade District is one of the most diverse communities in the city and also a low-income neighborhood.

Haughton-Pitts says these grants can jump start community improvement efforts.

"What kinds of things can we do that are creative and innovative and we can do in a short amount of time with a little bit of money?” she asks. “You know, these are not huge grants, but the little bit of money goes a long way when you're trying to complete something or when you're trying to pilot something."

The program is offering nearly $1.6 million in grants to 159 projects across the country. The projects must be completed by Nov. 4.

Disclosure: AARP Oregon contributes to our fund for reporting on Consumer Issues, Health Issues, Livable Wages/Working Families, Senior Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.
Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - OR