The work of Highway City Community Development focuses on revitalizing the west of 99/Central Unified School district area of Fresno, California by stimulating community development and enlisting resident leadership to improve the neglected neighborhoods in the community. Sidra Fatima Share Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Email In its second iteration, Kresge Community Support: Fresno draws inspiration from other impactful place-based grantmaking endeavors The Kresge Foundation, led by the foundation’s American Cities Program (ACP), recently awarded a package of grants to community-based organizations working to strengthen neighborhoods in Fresno, California. An investment of more than $400,000 will be supporting six grantees working deeply in the city’s historically marginalized neighborhoods. Across the city, Black and Brown residents are grappling with a history of disinvestment in their neighborhoods, the impacts of decades-long environmental injustice, along with housing and employment discrimination. To face these challenges and dismantle systems that empower them, organizations in Fresno have elevated priorities aligned with developing more affordable housing, wealth-building opportunities for residents and the ability for greater input on land use decisions. “These organizations are working deeply in place, with the experience that could grow to fill a needed role in neighborhoods, but they may be limited in their capacity to do programming, and don’t always have the resources to meet the challenges they are hoping to address,” said Sidra Fatima, Program Officer for the American Cities Program. “Kresge currently provides some support through existing intermediaries like the Central Valley Community Foundation and the Fresno Community and Economic Development Partnership (FCEDP). However, more is needed for intermediate capacity to achieve neighborhood development at the scale warranted. This initiative seeks to fill that gap.” Beyond extending capacity, Kresge Community Supports: Fresno aids neighborhood level organizations’ desires to tap into greater funding opportunities from national philanthropy and participation in cross-city exchanges with similar CDCs in the ACP portfolio. Grants have been awarded to the following organizations, totaling $440,000. Kresge Community Support: Fresno Grantees and Projects Lowell Community Development Corporation will use the general operating grant to undertake projects and programs related to two resident-identified priority areas: wealth-building and equitable housing development. Highway City Community Development will utilize Kresge funding to increase resident engagement in the neighborhood and provide asset-based community development trainings to resident leaders. Jackson CDC will utilize Kresge funding for educational attainment programming for neighborhood students, workforce development programs for residents and neighborhood engagement in Jackson. El Dorado Park CDC will utilize a general operating grant to expand staff capacity and develop a data collection system to evaluate their work and pursue additional funding. Hidalgo Community Development Corporation will utilize Kresge funding to strengthen staffing and improve the community engagement plan for their housing and economic development programming. Fresno Area Community Enterprises Inc. will utilize Kresge funding to help launch a six-month workforce training and life skills course to increase future employment opportunities for neighborhood residents. This package of grants builds upon ACPs existing body of work designed to accelerate positive change at the neighborhood level, and further underscores the critical nature of empowering strong local stewards in fostering resident engagement to ensure those changes benefit everyone.