Community Leadership Institute

Every year hundreds of people from all around the country gather to learn about new ways to improve neighborhoods. The three-day NeighborWorks Community Leadership Institute (CLI) event focuses on sharing ideas and successful solutions to the problems and issues facing many communities across the country. At the CLI, participants will attend workshops designed to inspire, build their skills, and get new ideas that they can bring back to their communities. For more information, go to

The CLI grant opportunity offers the chance for a team of up to 7 community representatives to attend the event and to work for positive changes within their neighborhood or community. The grant award covers tuition, airfare, ground transportation, food, and hotel costs. This grant is a part of the Neighborhood Grant Program in partnership with the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois and is available to residents of Boone, Ogle, Stephenson, and Winnebago counties.

After the team(s) attend the event and meet some additional requirements, they will work with HomeStart to apply for an additional $4,000 to implement a community-based project. Possible projects include neighborhood festivals, community clean-ups, neighborhood safety projects, etc.

HomeStart will select 1-2 teams per year for this opportunity.

Applications will be available in April or May - please check back!

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We envision thriving neighborhoods where everyone has equal access to quality housing opportunities.