(Dubois, WY) – AARP announced over $60,000 in grant funding for five projects around Wyoming through its Community Challenge Grants. Grant funds will support projects in Laramie, Dubois, Cheyenne, Thayne, and Sheridan.
Community Challenge Grants fund quick-action projects that help communities become more livable in the long-term by improving public spaces, transportation, housing, civic engagement, diversity and inclusion, and more. Now in its seventh year, the program is part of AARP’s nationwide Livable Communities initiative, which supports the efforts of cities, towns, neighborhoods and rural areas to become great places to live for all residents, especially those age 50 and older.
Mountain Grace Church of Dubois will receive $15,000 for its project aimed at helping those aged 50 and over maintain their homes with improvements and assistance. Dubois is a beautiful and isolated community in northwest Wyoming with a population of 934 and a median age of 58. Dubois is 72 miles from Riverton and 75 miles away from Jackson, the two next closest communities with more than 1,000 people, meaning senior services options may be somewhat limited.
The men’s ministry at Grace Church – 16 strong – is offering to help older adults in town with everything from cutting and delivering firewood to snow removal. The grant funds will go towards equipment and trailer purchases to kick off the effort and keep it going. This effort is especially important given the average cost of nursing homes through Medicaid in Wyoming is around $6,000 per person, per month and $91,000 per year for nursing home care paid for privately.
About the Grant Program
Previous Community Challenge grants have led to impressive results with nearly half of grantees leveraging their projects into additional funding support from private and public sector partners and eight-in-10 overcoming barriers and advancing change.
All projects must be consistent with AARP’s mission to serve the needs of people 50 and older along with other eligibility criteria. AARP will prioritize proposals that are inclusive, address disparities, and directly engage volunteers age 50 and older.
- New this year, the program will provide capacity-building microgrants paired with additional resources, such as one-on-one coaching, webinars, cohort learning opportunities and more for improving walkability and starting or expanding a community garden.
- Also new this year, the Community Challenge will also offer demonstration grants. A portion will be focused on transportation improvements with funding support provided by Toyota Motor North America. The Thayne program is an example of this new category of award.
- Another portion of demonstration grants will focus on promoting greater awareness of the benefits of accessory dwelling units as a housing solution
- AARP will also offer grants under a flagship opportunity to support projects that improve public places; transportation; housing; diversity, equity and inclusion; digital connections; community health and economic empowerment; and new this year community resilience; and civic engagement.
Since 2017, AARP has awarded more than $12.7 million to over 1,060 projects – including 15 in Wyoming – through the Community Challenge to nonprofit organizations and government entities in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The program provides direct support to all community types, including rural, suburban and urban communities with a special focus on the needs of those 50 and older.
The Community Challenge is open to eligible nonprofit organizations and government entities. Other types of organizations are considered on a case-by-case basis. Grants can range from several hundred dollars for small, short-term activities to tens of thousands for larger projects.