If you’ve been around the Village Academy/Southwest Delray Beach neighborhood lately, you might have noticed several houses looking particularly fresh and amazing, and it’s all thank to the recent Rock the Block event!
Rock the Block 2022 was an amazing success this year wherein more than 200 volunteers donated around 9,000 hours of service in just one day to help transform 10 homes in dire need of a facelift.
This annual event revitalizes the community and unites hundreds of volunteers⎯who are also community members and residents⎯in a block-party style, hands-on volunteer experience that the CRA team and the community look forward to. The event was held Saturday, April 30 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. this year.
“Habitat for Humanity and the Delray Community Redevelopment Agency share the commitment of transforming communities. Together, we make a lasting impact in our community one home at a time through the beautification and enhancement activities like Rock The Block,” said Alexina Jeannite, CRA Community Engagement Director. “The partnership advances the CRA mission and directly affects the lives of residents who also have a hand in beautifying their own homes or helping enhance the home a neighbor.”
Rock The Block brings several community organizations and city departments together to give back and make an impact in the community. The City of Delray Beach, the Delray Beach Police Department, Thrive, Delray Neighborhood Services Department, and the Delray Community Redevelopment Agency were among those represented. Additionally, more than 200 volunteers came out to work on landscaping, painting, and exterior home repairs like driveway resurfacing.
Rock the Block has been a City of Delray Beach tradition since 1989. In 2018, the event evolved into a new and exciting partnership with Habitat for Humanity of South Palm Beach County. Annually, the CRA allocates funding for this initiative as part of its Curb Appeal Residential Improvement Grant Program.
“The CRA’s mission is ‘to foster and directly assist in the redevelopment of the Community Redevelopment Area in order to eliminate blight, create a sustainable downtown and encourage economic growth, thus improving the attractiveness and quality of life for the benefit of the CRA District and the City of Delray Beach as a whole,’” Jeannite said. “Rock The Block helps to achieve this mission as it contributes to the revitalization of residential neighborhoods and eliminates slum and blight through home repairs that in turn improve the area’s attractiveness and enhances curb appeal.”
The housing inspectors (of the City of Delray Neighborhood Services Department) assess the properties and work alongside Habitat For Humanity staff to decide what improvements are made. The event allows for exterior paint, installation of floral/shrub, mailbox installation, sod and driveway construction, if needed. Properties are selected by City staff based on the neighboring blocks and enhancements within the CRA/City. The budget is $15,000 and is used for soffit/fascia repair and painting prep.
“Rock the Block engages the entire community – from its residents, local community-based organizations, the City and City Departments, the CRA, and local corporate sponsors,” Jeannite said. “The improvements that are covered (painting, landscaping and repairs) not only improve curb appeal, but they also help cover a financial expense that homeowners otherwise would have incurred.”
Rock the Block continues to be a fun, beneficial and community-driven event that benefits everyone involved. The CRA can’t wait for Rock the Block 2023!