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Community Updates: Friday, March 17

The City of Grand Rapids asks residents for feedback regarding allocation of federal Neighborhood Investment Plan and HOME-ARP funds; Cal Academy's Living Worlds planetarium show coming to the Grand Rapids Public Museum in March; and more
Fish Ladder Park

Fish Ladder Park /John Rothwell

The City of Grand Rapids Asks Residents for Feedback Regarding Allocation of Federal Neighborhood Investment Plan and HOME-ARP Funds

On Tuesday, the City of Grand Rapids laid out its suggestions for how approximately $8.5 million in federal funds should be allocated to projects that "[support] the FY 2024 Neighborhood Investment Plan and HOME-ARP Allocation Plan."

The selected project applications were chosen by a workgroup that included both City staff and three members of the Grand Rapids City Commission: Commissioner Drew Robbins from the First Ward, Commissioner Milinda Ysasi from the Second Ward, and Commissioner Nathaniel Moody from the Third Ward. The Coalition to End Homelessness's Funding Review Committee was also involved in this process. Together, they came up with an outline of recommended funding allocations for projects that would support and improve affordable/fair housing, public safety, job training, community outreach, and more in the City. According to Connie M. Bohatch, the City's Senior Managing Director of Community Services:

"The amount of federal funding appropriated from a variety of sources this year will help meet the needs of our low-income and unhoused populations."

Grand Rapidians are encouraged to look over these suggested funding allocations and provide their thoughts and opinions to the City. The Grand Rapids City Commission will be holding a public hearing regarding this issue at City Hall on Tuesday, March 28 at 7:00pm. Those who cannot attend the public hearing in-person can also submit their written input to the Community Development Committee by emailing [email protected]. The deadline for written communications regarding this issue is 5:00pm on Friday, April 14. 

The City of Grand Rapids provided a full breakdown of the selected projects and suggested funding amounts in a press release that was sent out on Tuesday. To see the funding breakdown as it relates to the Neighborhood Improvement Plan and Grand Rapids Strategic Plan, see the chart below:

Projected Neighborhood Improvement Plan "Outcome" GR Strategic Plan "Priority" Suggested Funding Amount
Prevent & Resolve Episodes of Homelessness Economic Prosperity & Affordability $986,298
Improve Access to & Stability of Affordable Housing Economic Prosperity & Affordability $150,000
Increasing Supply of Affordable Housing Economic Prosperity & Affordability $2,202,000
Improving Condition of Existing Housing Economic Prosperity & Affordability $4,282,776
Foster Engaged, Connected & Resilient Neighborhoods Engaged & Connected Community $268,600
Improve Community Safety Safe Community $409,900
Improve Economic Opportunity Economic Prosperity & Affordability $195,000


Cal Academy's Living Worlds Planetarium Show Coming to the Grand Rapids Public Museum in March 

On Monday, the Grand Rapids Public Museum (GRPM) sent out a press release to announce that Living Worlds, a program produced in 2021 by the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, would soon be added to the Roger B. Chaffee Planetarium's schedule of shows. 

Living Worlds explores the ways in which the Earth has been impacted by the presence of life over time, as well as how scientists are using this information to identify other planets in the universe that could possibly harbor life. This program will touch on everything from contemporary space technology and exploration, to the history of our planet and the measures we can take to sustain it. According to Jack Daleske, the GRPM's Planetarium Manager:

"Living World answers some of the biggest questions, like how does understanding life's influence on our planet inform our search for life elsewhere -- and what would it mean to discover extraterrestrial life out there in the universe?"

Actor and musician Daveed Diggs, perhaps best known for his roles as Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson in the musical Hamilton, narrates this program.

Audiences in Grand Rapids can watch Living Worlds at the Roger B. Chaffee Planetarium starting at 3:00pm on Friday, March 31. For ticketing and scheduling information, visit the GRPM's website here


Also in the News:

  • The City of Grand Rapids has announced that it will be holding another "Commission Night Out" meeting at Grand Rapids Public Schools University at 5:30pm on Tuesday, March 28. This will be the first "Commission Night Out" meeting of the year. For more information, visit the City's website.  


  • Irish on Ionia, Grand Rapids' own St. Patrick's Day festival, will be taking place downtown on Saturday, March 18. For more information, visit the official Irish on Ionia website


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