AURORA | In an effort to build community, the Aurora Housing and Community Services Department is launching mini-grant programs to encourage neighborhood gatherings.

The city is offering one grant in the form of gift cards that can go toward events such as small block parties and neighborhood cleanup events. Another grant is available for printing costs, according to a city news release.

Those funds will be available until depleted, according to the city.

A third grant offers applicants $250 “to develop more sustainable neighborhood groups and organize larger-scale neighborhood events.” The deadline to apply is September 15.

“The city is hopeful that these grants will help facilitate a greater sense of community in our neighborhoods,” said Jessica Prosser, director of Housing and Community Services, in a statement. “Neighborhood gatherings are a positive and powerful way for people to connect and to build stronger, healthier and more cohesive communities.”

City leaders say the small grant programs were developed with input from residents, neighborhood groups and local HOAs.

Residents can apply online at, and should do so at least three weeks before an event, the release said. Residents can apply for more than one grant; grants cannot be used for religious, political or private gatherings.

— CARINA JULIG, Staff Writer