Strengthening Neighborhoods


Milwaukee can be seen as a tale of two cities. On one hand, it has thriving neighborhoods that are teeming with business activity, well-manicured homes and an active night life. On the other hand, many of its neighborhoods battle high unemployment, boarded-up homes and crime.

Then there are those neighborhoods in the middle — ones that are at a tipping point and whose future could go either way. 

The Greater Milwaukee Foundation has invested in and worked with community development corporations, neighborhood improvement programs and initiatives and local and national groups that are working to strengthening our city’s neighborhoods — no matter what end of the spectrum.

Recent Grants

Milwaukee Community Business Collaborative: $100,000 (over two years) to help the agency increase the capacity of Milwaukee JobsWork, its job readiness and small business development program, to serve more individuals.

WWBIC: $100,000 (over two years) to support technical assistance necessary for the outreach, business, education, pre/post loan counseling and ongoing small business consultation it provides to its clients throughout the course of a loan.

Havenwoods Economic Development Corporation: $80,000 (over two years) to support the agency’s efforts to continue to implement Healthy Neighborhood Initiative strategies in Milwaukee’s Havenwoods neighborhood. Planned projects include a summer concert series, block build with Revitalize MKE and home tours.

Layton Boulevard West Neighbors: $80,000 (over two years) for the agency’s continued efforts to implement Healthy Neighborhoods Initiative strategies in Milwaukee’s Silver City, Burnham Park and Layton Park neighborhoods. Planned projects include resident leadership training, neighborhood marketing and home tours.

Riverworks Development Corporation: $80,000 (over two years) to support the agency’s continued efforts to implement Healthy Neighborhood Initiative strategies within Milwaukee’s Harambee and Riverwest neighborhoods. Planned activities include conducting a housing survey, organizing neighborhood clean-ups and the planning and coordination of activities along the Beerline Trail.

Sixteenth Street Community Health Center: $80,000 to support the agency’s efforts to implement Healthy Neighborhood Initiative strategies in the KK River neighborhood. Planned projects include a spring cleanup, resident leadership academy and green infrastructure workshops.

Albright Methodist Church: $60,000 (over two years) to support the Capitol Heights Neighborhood Association’s continued efforts to implement Healthy Neighborhood Initiative strategies within the Capitol Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee’s northwest side. Planned activities include summer and fall youth employment program, neighborhood marketing and neighborhood events.

University of Wisconsin Extension – Waukesha County: $60,000 (over two years) to support the agency’s continued efforts to implement the Healthy Neighborhoods Initiative strategies in Waukesha’s Tower Hill and Dunbar Oaks neighborhoods. Planned activities include home improvement workshops, a neighborhood leadership development program and development of a formalized neighborhood association nonprofit.

Employ Milwaukee: $50,000 for the agency’s Mobile Workforce Connections, a program in which staff canvass neighborhoods and events to connect Milwaukee County job seekers and workers with employment and training opportunities.

Wisconsin Philanthropy Network: $50,000 for the Wisconsin Leadership Development Project, which is designed to recruit, train and develop 100 grassroots leaders in Milwaukee.

Harbor District: $50,000 to support development of a 10,000-square-foot plaza at the eastern end of Greenfield Street that will create a recreational and public gathering place in the inner harbor.

Project RETURN: $35,000 for its employment program that provides formerly incarcerated individuals training to increase work skills, identify barriers, develop a case plan and connect to resources for employment as well as basic needs.

Frank Zeidler Center for Public Discussion: $30,000 to support listening circles between Milwaukee Police and youth and adult residents in Harambee, Metcalfe Park, Amani, Clarke Square and Sherman Park that will increase understanding, change perceptions and repair relationships.

Marquette University: $25,000 in support of the Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service, an online news service that reports on news within 18 Milwaukee neighborhoods.

Safe & Sound: $25,000 to support the agency’s efforts to improve safety in Milwaukee neighborhoods through community organizing, youth development and partnerships with law enforcement.

End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin: $25,000 for the Asha Project, which provides culturally specific advocacy services, support groups and case management for victims of domestic violence, sexual abuse and sex trafficking.

African American Chamber of Commerce: $10,000 toward creation of a business model for Adams Garden Park, an urban garden collective that will be home to a number of small entrepreneurial businesses.

Community Advocates: $7,500 to support warming rooms at four locations across Milwaukee County during the winter for individuals who are homeless.

Local Initiatives Support Corporation: $2,000 to support the 2018 MANDI event.

For a complete listing of this quarter’s grants made from our competitive grantmaking process, visit Recent Grants.

Learn More

russell1-web.jpgContact Senior Program Officer Darlene C. Russell to learn more about our community development work.