$1.35 million joint commitment between Rocket Community Fund and Cleveland Foundation to support, underwrite Cleveland Neighborhood Progress positions.
The Rocket Community Fund, Cleveland Neighborhood Progress and Cleveland Foundation today announced the launch of “Neighbor to Neighbor,” the flagship Rocket Community Fund program that will help bridge Cleveland’s digital divide and connect residents to critical housing resources that will support lasting housing stability.
“Neighbor to Neighbor is a program as well as a promise to Cleveland that we are committed to providing residents with the future they deserve, a future of digital connectivity and housing stability that will enable them to grow their wealth and well-being,” said Laura Grannemann, the Vice President of the Rocket Community Fund and founder of Neighbor to Neighbor. “Digital connectivity and lasting housing stability are the twin pillars that provide physical and economic security, as well as the ability to access job training, education, telemedicine, employment and more. We are excited to work alongside our friends at Cleveland Neighborhood Progress, the Cleveland Foundation and local organizations for years to come.”
Neighbor to Neighbor
At its core, Neighbor to Neighbor is a door-to-door canvassing effort that helps deepen connections between local Community Development Corporations (CDCs) and their neighbors – the residents they serve. Canvassers from neighborhood CDCs educate residents on programs they may be eligible for, as well as ask questions to understand the gaps that exist due to a lack of resources or programming that is symptom-based and not solution-based. Based on these conversations, Neighbor to Neighbor partners and residents will work toward co-developing lasting, sustainable programs that provide long-term solutions to intractable issues.
First launching with five pilot CDCs, the program will expand to 11 CDCs in 2022. The joint $1.35 million commitment between the Cleveland Foundation and Rocket Community Fund will enable Cleveland Neighborhood Progress – a community development intermediary – to begin the process of assembling a team of nearly 50 individuals to implement the Neighbor to Neighbor program.
“Neighbor to Neighbor will allow us to scale our impact in new and innovative ways by allowing us to reach and collaborate with the residents of our communities to bridge the digital divide and address housing inequities,” said Tania Menesse, President and CEO of Cleveland Neighborhood Progress. “We are grateful to the Rocket Community Fund and Cleveland Foundation for investing in us, our residents and our futures.”
Cleveland Neighborhood Progress recently hired a Manager for Organizing and Community Engagement, who will facilitate and manage partnerships with local CDCs and Community Ambassadors, and oversee the Neighbor to Neighbor program in its entirety.
The five pilot CDCs that will be involved with the launch of the program include Bellaire-Puritas Development Corporation, Famicos Foundation, Greater Collinwood Development Corporation, Midtown Cleveland Inc. and Slavic Village Development. Each organization is in process of adding Community Engagement Specialists to their staff as well as identifying candidates for the position of Community Ambassador.