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New Initiatives Champion Strong Neighborhoods

February 14, 2019 | Department of Neighborhood Engagement

This Valentine’s Day, the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Engagement is pledging its love to the neighborhoods of Lancaster through the launch of several new and returning programs and initiatives.

“We are excited for the launch of these new programs on the feast of Valentine’s Day,” said Milzy Carrasco, Director of Neighborhood Engagement. “We recognize this day for love, caring, and appreciation of one another and felt it was appropriate to share with the community programming that is focused on love and caring for our community.”


Residents of Howard Avenue and the ChurchTowne neighborhood, as well as related neighborhood organizations and their volunteer partners are invited to apply for mini-grants through the Love Your Block program beginning on Thurs., Feb. 14. Love Your Block is a community engagement program that supports resident-led improvement projects and makes it easier for residents to connect with City leaders and resources. The mini-grants, ranging from $500 to $2,000, are offered for projects that focus on reducing litter and addressing simple façade repairs on Howard Avenue and in the ChurchTowne neighborhood. The application is available online at www.cityoflancasterpa.com/love-your-block or at City Hall, 120 N. Duke St. Applications are due April 1.


This new program is intended to identify and cultivate neighborhood leaders. The six-month training is open to Lancaster City residents who have demonstrated a commitment to making a positive impact on their neighborhood through engagement and service. Applications are available online at www.cityoflancasterpa.com/neighborhood-leaders-academy or at City Hall, 120 N. Duke St. beginning Thurs., Feb. 14. Applications are due no later than March 28. Information sessions will be held at City Hall on: Tues., March 5 from 6 to 7 p.m.; Wed., March 6 from 9 to 10 a.m.; and Wed., March 6 from 6 – 7 p.m. Applicants will be notified regarding acceptance in late April.


Residents that have good relationships with other households in their neighborhood are more likely to engage in neighborhood improvement activities. Block parties facilitate the creation of those relationships. For a second year, Mayor Sorace will provide a select block with permits, food, drink and entertainment for a summer block party. Residents can apply to be considered for the Mayor’s Block Party online at www.cityoflancasterpa.com/mayors-block-party. Submissions are due May 2, and require applicants to submit a short video, photos, an essay, a song, a poem, or other creative documentation of the block.


The Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Engagement is seeking restaurants interested in hosting informal, public meet and greet lunches with Mayor Sorace on weekdays throughout the year. These will be open to the public, with guests purchasing their own food and beverages. Restaurants interested in hosting can request to be considered at www.cityoflancasterpa.com/lunch-mayor.


To give residents an opportunity for Mayor Sorace to meet them where they live, the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Engagement is seeking residents that would like to host her for dinner. Those chosen will host in their home or office and invite their own neighbors. Food and beverages will be provided by a sponsor. Residents interested in hosting can request to be considered at www.cityoflancasterpa.com/dinner-mayor.