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Empowering Community Engagement: Love Your Block and Neighborhood Leaders Academy Accepting Applications

February 14, 2024 | Department of Neighborhood Engagement
By: Amber Strazzo Righter

The City of Lancaster Department of Neighborhood Engagement announced today the opening of applications for two exciting community initiatives: Love Your Block (LYB) Grants and the Neighborhood Leaders Academy (NLA). These programs aim to empower and engage residents in creating positive change in the Lancaster community. 

Applications for LYB grants will be available starting Wednesday, offering an opportunity for individuals and groups to secure funding for projects that foster connections and enhance the quality of life in our city. The application window for Phase I will remain open until March 27. LYB grants are categorized into three areas: River Connections, Community Connections, and Safety Connections, each targeting specific aspects of community development. 

New in the River Connections category is an exciting opportunity for mural projects, with the added benefit of mentorship from a local artist and support from the City of Lancaster. This initiative aims to beautify our city while promoting environmental awareness and community pride. 

Simultaneously, applications for NLA will also open today. This six-week program, held Mondays from 5 – 8 p.m., is designed to equip participants with the knowledge and skills needed to become effective leaders and advocates within our community. 

The curriculum of the NLA program covers various topics, including local government, public safety, community engagement, and advocacy, providing participants with a comprehensive understanding of the structures and processes that shape our city. 

Key dates for the NLA program include a deadline for applications on March 14 and the announcement of the selected participants on March 28.  

Both initiatives reflect the City of Lancaster’s commitment to fostering a stronger, more connected community, where individuals are empowered to contribute positively to their neighborhoods and beyond. 

For more information and to apply for LYB Grants or the NLA Program, please visit www.cityoflancasterpa.gov/neighborhoods.  


The Department of Neighborhood Engagement (DONE), established by Mayor Danene Sorace, is dedicated to investing in and collaborating with residents and their neighborhoods. DONE serves as a liaison between Lancaster neighborhoods and city departments, programs, and partners, promoting collaborative efforts to enhance residents’ quality of life through dialogue, partnership building, and actionable initiatives. DONE also oversees the coordination of the City’s special events calendar, operates the Lancaster City Welcome Center, and supports the promotion of Lancaster City as a vibrant destination through the Lancaster Office of Promotion.

Spanning 7 square miles in south Central Pennsylvania, the City of Lancaster is home to 60,000 diverse residents. Committed to building a stronger, more equitable Lancaster block by block, the City of Lancaster oversees a range of public services including public safety, health, housing, parks, streets, and water and sewer operations. For more information, visit cityoflancasterpa.gov