Valparaiso Offers Grants to Encourage Gatherings

Valparaiso Offers Grants to Encourage Gatherings

To encourage neighborhood engagement, the City of Valparaiso is offering a Know Your Neighbor  grant program to support neighborhood gatherings, planned activities, block parties and other  creative ideas that bring neighbors together.  

“Neighborhood gatherings are an opportunity to connect with neighbors, build new associations,  learn new skills and can serve as a great time to gather ideas for Neighborhood Improvement Grant  Applications,” said Maggie Clifton, Community Engagement Director for the City of Valparaiso.  “We’ve created this new grant program to encourage neighborhoods to host welcoming, free  gatherings that bring people together within their neighborhoods,” she said.  

Neighborhood groups are eligible to apply once per year for a $250 Know Your Neighbor grant. If  your neighborhood does not have an active association or is a newly forming group, you may qualify  for up to $500 to bring neighbors together for the first time. The grant is awarded as a reimbursement.  Applicants are responsible for keeping expense receipts to properly account for the event and activity  costs.  

Eligible activities must be organized by neighborhood groups and must be open and welcoming to  all neighbors. To qualify for reimbursement, neighborhoods must apply to the City of Valparaiso  Community Engagement Department, detailing the activity and submitted at least two weeks before  the event. Limited funds are available for this program and funds will be awarded on a rolling basis,  first-come, first-served.  

Eligible expenses include:  

  • Live music, bounce house or other entertainment  
  • Food truck or ice cream truck rental  
  • Hosting a specific training or qualified guest speaker  
  • Specific materials or supplies to host group activity 

Participants in the Know Your Neighbor grant program will also have access to additional signage  and printed flyers to help them promote the activity. Neighborhood organizers are encouraged to  use the City of Valparaiso’s Neighborhood Toolkit (available on the Community Engagement page  at to host a successful event.  

“Engaging with neighbors strengthens neighborhoods and communities. We see this grant as  another way to increase communication among neighbors and enhance neighborhood unity,” said  Clifton.  To learn more about the program, including how to apply, visit An  information session will be hosted on Zoom on Monday, April 8 at 5:00 pm. For questions, contact  Community Engagement Director Maggie Clifton at or (219) 462-1161.