Resident Leadership

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. This year’s Institute will be held in October. 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 shared hotel costs. This year the training will take place in October and at least 3 members of the awarded group’s leadership must be able to attend. (If your group only has 3-4 members that attend, you must be willing to work with an additional neighborhood group during the conference.) 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. This project will need to be completed by October of 2021, so applicants should keep that in mind when considering this training opportunity.

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

Applications will be available in April - please check back!

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Creating choice in housing, community in neighborhoods, and empowerment in personal finance throughout northern Illinois.