Mott Foundation invites Flint residents to vote on how to spend $1 million to strengthen neighborhoods

An illustration of a neighborhood with a sidewalk on the left leading to a home surrounded by green lawn, trees and with a sign in the foreground that states: VOTE ON $1 MILLION FOR FLINT NEIGHBORHOODS!
Flint residents are invited to vote on how $1 million in grants will be spent in their neighborhoods. Illustration: Craig Kelley Jr.

Flint, Michigan — The Flint community has two weeks to vote on how the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation should grant $1 million to support residents’ ideas to strengthen the city’s neighborhoods. Residents can vote online at focusonflint.org through Aug. 11.

“When we launched the Focus on Flint initiative last year, we met with residents and listened to their concerns and desires for the community,” said Ridgway White, president and CEO of the Mott Foundation. “Strengthening neighborhoods emerged as their top priority, and we’re eager to help them do it.”

In November, Mott announced it would grant up to $1 million to support neighborhood projects and invited residents to submit ideas. More than 440 people submitted 625 ideas in four categories:

  • Beautification/neighborhood cleanup.
  • Home improvements.
  • Demolition.
  • Streetlight and sidewalk repair.

Foundation staff reviewed all of the ideas submitted and, from them, created a list of 70 potential projects to vote on. Ideas that suggested similar projects were combined, and those that were not related to neighborhood projects or could not be funded by the Foundation were removed.

“We hoped to have more in-person meetings this year for the voting, but the pandemic changed those plans,” White said. “Although we have to ask people to vote online, we’re excited to hear from the community again so we can get money into the neighborhoods to address residents’ priorities.”

Here’s how the voting works:

  • Go to focusonflint.org.
  • Select up to 10 projects you’d like to see happen.
  • You’ll be able to vote to give up to $250,000 per project. Beginning with the minimum amount required to complete each project, you can add funds in increments of $5,000.
  • Once you hit $1 million, you can no longer vote for more projects.
  • For example, you may vote for four projects to get $250,000 each, 10 projects to get $100,000 each or another combination to reach $1 million.
  • Each resident may vote only once.

The Mott Foundation will look at the top vote-getters and the average dollar amounts residents said each should receive. This will help to determine how many grants will be awarded and the size of each one. The Mott Foundation will then award grants — $1 million in total — to local nonprofit organizations to tackle the projects.

Visit focusonflint.org to learn more about the process and cast your vote.


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