Graphic of brightly colored buildings representing a neighborhood. Logos of the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois and HomeStart.

Neighborhood Grants Open for 2022

NW HomeStart and the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois (CFNIL) are accepting applications for the Neighborhood Grants Program until 5 p.m. on Monday, April 4. This program is open to neighborhood-based groups and nonprofit organizations operating in Boone, Ogle, Stephenson, and Winnebago Counties. 
The Neighborhood Grants Program funds neighborhood-focused and resident-led projects, including but not limited to beautification, crime prevention, surveys, clean ups, newsletters, organizing, reforestation, and resident-focused education. The maximum award from the Neighborhood Grants Program is $2,500. Awards will be announced in April 2022.

Applications must be submitted through CFNIL’s online grants application portal by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, April 4, 2022. HomeStart administers the Neighborhood Grants Program, including awarding the grant funds. To learn more about the program, view grant guidelines, and start your application, visit:
Last year’s recipients included: African American Resource Center, Comprehensive Community Solutions, Coronado Haskell Neighborhood Association, Greater Freeport Partnership, Northwest Neighbors, Rock Valley College, SecondFirst Church, Rockford Area Habitat for Humanity, Rockford Park District Foundation, Transform Rockford, Village of Poplar Grove.  

CFNIL has operated a neighborhood grants program since 1995, distributing more than $775,000 to build better neighborhoods in Rockford and beyond. This is the sixth year CFNIL and HomeStart are collaborating to better extend the opportunity to the four-county region. 

Through this partnership, HomeStart will also offer the opportunity for a team to attend the NeighborWorks Community Leadership Institute this fall. This event is geared toward citizens who are seeking to learn about neighborhood improvement strategies that can be put into practice in their own communities. Visit to learn more about the NeighborWorks Community Leadership Institute. 

About NW HomeStart: In January 2013, Neighborhood Housing Services of Freeport (NHS) and Rockford Area Affordable Housing Coalition (RAAHC) merged to form HomeStart. Serving ten counties in Northern Illinois, HomeStart works in partnership with residents, local elected officials, and business leaders to strengthen communities within the Northern Illinois region. HomeStart is a HUD-approved housing counseling organization and chartered-member of NeighborWorks America, a nationwide network of nearly 235 trained and certified community development organizations at work in nearly 3,000 communities across America. Learn more about HomeStart at