Several organizations are getting help as they work to transform the community.
The Oasis Market is one of the non-profit organizations/projects that will benefit from the funds. They’re going toward organizations that are making positive change for youth, downtown, or surrounding neighbors.
The Erie Community Foundation is awarding nearly $2 million to 10 recipients of its ‘Transformational Philanthropy 2.0’ grants Tuesday.
CEO of the Urban Oasis Project, Jonathan D’Silva, tells us, “Without this money, we’d basically be starting from scratch and building up to something we could actually be proud of; but now, we can actually buy equipment.”
The Urban Oasis Project will receive $200,000 for the Oasis Market in the 900 block of State Street. The indoor farmer’s market is targeted to open in August.
D’Silva says, “They’re excited to see what’s happening down there. We’ve got Erie Insurance people across the street. We have VelocityNet coming up. Everyone who walks by wants us to succeed, because they see the need right there, because they live right there.”
But, they also live in nearby neighborhoods. They Bayfront East Side Taskforce will use the grant money for revitalization projects, improving 45 now empty lots.
Executive Director for Bayfront East Side Taskforce, Jeremy Bloeser, says, “We’re putting in some nice, easy to maintain plants, some trees. Basically beautifying the area. It’s called ‘clean and green’. So, when people travel through, they don’t just see an empty lot, but they see something that’s being taken care of and gives positive feeling to the community.”
As hundreds of millions of dollars pour into and around downtown, the Erie Community Foundation wants that renaissance to spread. President of the Erie Community Foundation, Mike Batchelor, says, “A strong downtown is going to benefit all of the communities, all of the neighborhoods, and that’s the goal here; to make sure everyone shares in this transformational moment to make our community better.”
Individual grants awarded to the 10 organizations ranged from $100,000 to $250,000. The Erie Community Foundation says it wants to help make Erie a place where people want to live, work, and play.