LIHU‘E — Three organizations across the state — including the Rice Street Business Association — are recipients of 2022 AARP Community Challenge grants totaling $49,500, part of $3.4 million awarded among 260 organizations nationwide.
The Lihu‘e group will receive $20,000 to create complete streets, place-making and public art projects. The project includes rainbow crosswalk art, bus-shelter murals, Wi-Fi hotspots, native street trees and community gardens.
Grantees will implement quick-action projects that help communities become more livable by improving public places, transportation, housing, diversity, equity and inclusion, digital access and civic engagement, with an emphasis on the needs of adults age 50 and over.
“AARP Hawai‘i is committed to working with communities to improve residents’ quality of life through tangible changes,” said Keali‘i Lopez, AARP Hawai‘i state director.
“We are proud to collaborate with this year’s grantees as they make immediate improvements in their communities to jumpstart long-term change, especially for kupuna ages 50 and over.”
The other Hawai‘i grantees and their projects are:
• Hui O Hau‘ula, $18,000, to build a walking trail with seating and a mural around a five-acre site for a future community center/resilience hub in Hau‘ula on Oahu that will also serve as an emergency shelter where residents can safely shelter during a hurricane or tsunami;
• Krause Family Foundation ‘Alana Ke Aloha and Guzeiji Soto Mission Moloka‘i, $11,500, to create an accessible, attractive outdoor community wireless hotspot on Moloka‘i, where kupuna and other residents can access the internet and learn digital literacy.
AARP Community Challenge grant projects will be funded in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. True to the program’s quick-action nature, projects must be completed by Nov. 30.
This year, AARP is bolstering its investment of affordable and adaptable housing solutions in response to the national housing crisis. With additional funding support from Toyota Motor North America, the program is also increasing its support of projects that improve mobility innovation and transportation options.
The grant 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 people of all ages.
Since the Community Challenge Grant program started in 2017, some 20 Hawai‘i projects have received $234,366 to improve and create parks, beautify urban areas, bring mobile, live theatre to Hawai‘i Island, encourage bicycle sharing by older residents, make streets safer and generally make communities more livable.
Source: The Garden Island