A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Florence Christian Church receives AARP Kentucky Community Challenge grant for bicycle repair station

AARP Kentucky is proud to announce that Florence Christian Church has been selected to receive a 2022 AARP Community Challenge grant, one of six (6) grantees chosen statewide.

The $2,730 grant will be used to provide a bicycle rack and bicycle repair station in the church parking lot for use by food pantry guests, users of the church’s Fresh Start Shower Ministry, and all Florence residents.

“Florence Christian Church welcomes radically. The addition of a bicycle repair station to our parking lot on the busy corner of US42 and Dixie Highway is a way for us to extend that welcome to people who are literally just passing by,” said Florence Christian Church’s Outreach Minister, Melissa Stephens.

This project is part of the largest group of grantees to date with $3.4 million awarded among 260 organizations nationwide. Grantees will implement quick-action projects that help communities become more livable in the long-term 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.

With this grantee class, 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.

All projects are expected to be completed by November 30, 2022, and are designed to achieve one or more of the following outcomes:

• Create vibrant public places by improving open spaces and parks and activating main streets.
• Deliver a range of transportation and mobility options by increasing connectivity, walkability, bikeability, wayfinding, and access a wider range of transportation choices.
• Encourage the availability of a range of housing by increasing accessible and affordable housing solutions.
• Ensure a focus on diversity and inclusion while improving the built and social environment of a community.
• Support communities’ efforts to build engagement and leverage funding available under new federal programs through laws including the American Rescue Plan Act, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, and more
• Increase Civic Engagement with innovative and tangible projects that bring residents and local leaders together to address challenges and facilitate a greater sense of inclusion.
• Other community improvements, including Health Services, Community Development, and Coronavirus Pandemic Recovery.

“We are incredibly excited to support Florence Christian Church as they work to make immediate improvements, encourage promising ideas and jumpstart long-term change in the city of Florence,” said AARP Kentucky volunteer State President Charlotte Whittaker. “Our goal at AARP Kentucky is to support the efforts of our communities to be great places for people of all backgrounds, ages and abilities.”
Since 2017, AARP Kentucky has awarded 24 grants and some $256,500 through the program to nonprofit organizations and government entities across the state. The Community Challenge 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. View the full list of grantees and their project descriptions at www.aarp.org/communitychallenge and learn more about AARP’s livable communities work at www.aarp.org/livable.

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