Even with ongoing COVID-19 concerns, it's important to continue engaging with your neighbors. Below you'll find a few ideas the City of Plano and our neighborhoods are implementing to continue engaging:
Neighbor Connect Cards are available to print at home or by sending an electronic request to email@example.com for hard copies. Use these cards to tell your neighbor how you're able to help.
Bring neighbors together by inviting them to have dinner on the front lawn at the same time on a specific day (Sunday dinner at 6 p.m.). Neighbors should stay in their front yards and bring their own tables, chairs and food.
Invite your neighbors to bring joy to your neighborhood by creating an Art Walk challenge. Encourage families to bring chalk during their walks to draw pictures and notes along the way. Paint rocks with kind words or images, and scatter them around your neighborhood for everyone to see when they take a walk. Consider using free signs provided by Mental Health America of Greater Dallas to color encouragement signs to post in your window.
Forest Creek Estates has held various events to spread hope and positivity in their community. They've hosted a drive-by concert, scavenger hunt, chalk your walk and a search for an Easter egg along the Chisholm Trail. Neighbors are also purchasing turquoise chairs (a twist on the turquoise table) and participating in Wine Wednesday!
Looking to Spruce Up Your Yard?
The Plano CARES team has created a Tool Lending Program for people who don't have the means or ability to cut their own grass or trees by lending tools to them. If you or your neighbor are not able to afford to hire a landscape company and do not own or have access to the equipment needed for yard work, we’re here to help! The Tool Lending Trailer is filled with everything you need to maintain your yard and is sanitized after each use. You can borrow a lawn mower, weed eater, safety glasses, broom, pole saw, hand saw and hedge shears.
Qualifications for this program will be determined on a case by case basis and an application must be filled out. Reach out to your Property Standards Specialist if you or someone you know may be in need. Use the specialist map to find out who the specialist is for your area.
Are You in Need of Mortgage or Rent Assistance?
Are you or someone you know struggling to make a mortgage or rent payment? The Homelessness Prevention Program administered by the Assistance Center of Collin County can help. Call 972-422-1850 to complete an eligibility screening and apply for the program. Additional housing assistance for all Collin County residents, including Plano residents whose income exceeds the limit of the Homelessness Prevention Program, is available through the Emergency Housing and Living Assistance Program.
Testimonial: Taylor Smith is a substitute teacher who lost her income when schools closed in response to COVID-19. Ms. Smith was living in an extended stay hotel with nowhere else to turn. She faced an imminent risk of homelessness. The City’s Homelessness Prevention Programprovided prompt assistance to keep her housed until she received her unemployment benefits and Economic Impact Payment, which she used to secure an apartment. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, this program has provided temporary housing assistance and case management to 68 Plano families whose finances were directly impacted by the pandemic.
We're Here to Help You Buy or Update Your Home
Whether you're interested in becoming a homeowner or your existing home is in need of repairs or updates, the City’s housing programs are accepting applications! Social distancing guidelines are being followed to ensure the health and safety of residents and City staff. Learn more and submit an application for Housing Rehabilitation, Great Update Rebate, Smart Energy Loan or First Time Homebuyer programs.
Neighborhood Leadership Academy
Neighborhood Leadership Academy is a free program developed to support and enhance neighborhood groups looking to make a greater community impact. You'll learn to assess strengths and gaps in your neighborhood, community organization, resident engagement and more. In the academy, your neighborhood leaders will have the opportunity to network with other neighborhood groups, take advantage of mentoring opportunities and build support. The next class will start in October. Stay tuned for an online application! For more information, connect with the Program Administrator.
Neighborhood Engagement Mini-Grants
The Neighborhood Engagement Mini-Grant Program offers funding for initiatives that promote, build or strengthen neighborhood involvement for voluntary organizations. To be eligible for the program, neighborhood groups must be a Crime Watch Group, Neighborhood Association or Voluntary Homeowners Association. Connect with the Program Administrator to confirm eligibility of a proposed neighborhood initiative. The maximum grant award is $500.