Stark Community Foundation Announces New Stark County Neighborhood Partnership Program

Stark Community Foundation (SCF) announced today a new program in partnership with Community Building Partnership of Stark County, Inc. (CBP) to improve and expand neighborhood revitalization efforts in Stark County. This new Stark County Neighborhood Partnership Program will provide neighborhood associations and community organizations with additional programming, training opportunities, expanded communication and financial support.

“This partnership is a perfect match because both Stark Community Foundation and Community Building Partnership share a common goal to empower as many residents as possible to transform their neighborhoods from within,” said Mark J. Samolczyk, president and CEO of Stark Community Foundation. “Collaborating on this unique program will allow us to engage more residents, meet the needs of communities and build upon the strengths of Stark County neighborhoods.”

SCF has been investing in neighborhoods since its early beginnings, and in 1997, started an initiative to strengthen neighborhoods through a neighborhood partnership grant program. In addition to activities including Neighborhood Leadership Council and Neighborhood Leadership Training, more than $2.9 million has been awarded to neighborhood associations to create safe, well-maintained neighborhoods that are inviting places to live, work, play and raise a family. Grants have supported neighborhood improvements like beautification projects, neighborhood newsletters and engagement activities. Future grants will continue to support these efforts while focusing on grants that respond to neighborhood data.

CBP, established in 2006 as a component fund of SCF, became a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in 2011 with a mission to revitalize Stark County neighborhoods. In its early years, CBP led partnership-based, neighborhood-specific revitalization projects and facilitated community development policies, programs and tools promoting resident and community investment in neighborhoods. Today, CBP works with the City of Canton, county agencies and community partners through its Healthy Neighborhoods and Housing Counseling programs. Both programs work together to strengthen neighborhoods by encouraging resident involvement and investment and supporting homeownership.

Some of the highlights of the new Stark County Neighborhood Partnership Program include:

  • Tailored Training: In collaboration with NeighborWorks America, a comprehensive spectrum of free training will be made available to existing and potential neighborhood groups. NeighborWorks, institutionalized by Congress in 1978, is the nation's leading trainer of community-development and affordable-housing professionals. Its offerings, which are regularly updated to reflect industry standards and current trends, serve residents and organizations. Initial training will center around foundational neighborhood improvement strategies to empower residents. As the program evolves, future programming will be developed based on direct feedback from participants.
  • Neighborhood Grants: This new grant program will provide both traditional neighborhood grants and unique pro-active grants that promote collaboration amongst varying stakeholders to address pressing community needs at the neighborhood level.
  • Expanded Communication: In an effort to support existing neighborhood groups and encourage greater collaboration, tools will be developed to enhance communication and provide easier access to information to inspire people of all ages to become engaged in their neighborhood.

“We are excited by this opportunity to work more closely with SCF in support of neighborhoods and community partners,” said Maureen E. Austin, Ph.D., executive director of CBP. “Every day we are inspired by the many residents who pitch in to support their neighbors, devote time to their neighborhood association activities, invest in their homes and work hard to improve their community.”

For more information on the new Stark County Neighborhood Partnership Program, contact Amy Krebs, vice president of grants and community initiatives at SCF, at 234-458-2912 or, or Maureen Austin at 330-458-0962 or

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