In an effort to encourage and support grassroots action to make Burlington more livable, AARP Vermont has launched a Community Action Sponsorship Program to provide modest grant funds and technical support to community groups or individuals. The initiative is part of the Burlington Livable Community Project aimed at preparing Burlington for the rapidly aging demographic shift – particularly in the areas of housing, mobility and community engagement.
The Community Action Sponsorships will provide financial and other support to groups within Burlington that will advocate for improvements in the following areas:
- Affordable housing options for older residents
- Delivery of services to help older residents age in the setting of their choice
- Pedestrian infrastructure (sidewalks, amenities for walkers, public art, safe street crossings, navigation, etc.)
- Public transit
- Fostering intergenerational and multi-cultural connection
- Financial security for low income older residents
- Socialization and fostering community connection for older residents
- Education and awareness about LGBTQ elders
- Community accessibility for disabled residents
“These sponsorships are intended to inspire and support grassroots groups that have a vision for their neighborhood or the city and how it can be improved to the meet the needs of all residents,” said Jennifer Wallace-Brodeur of AARP Vermont. “The sponsorship is open to grassroots groups and small non-profits in Burlington and should represent a desire to make change through local level activism and advocacy.”
Following the May 6 application deadline, three groups will be selected for grants ranging from $500-$2,000. Grants will be one-time funding for a 12-month period and groups who are awarded sponsorships will receive technical assistance from AARP staff. This will include advocacy and communications support, administrative support (as appropriate), and access to office equipment and meeting space. Funded groups will also be required to participate in advocacy and communications training provided by AARP. Sponsored projects will receive public recognition through AARP, including letters of support, as needed to achieve their goals.