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  ANNOUNCEMENTS
  The Office of Neighborhood Empowerment is now accepting nominations for Officer Liaison of the Year Award.  You have until Friday, Dec. 15, to send in your nomination.  
   
The Office of Neighborhood Empowerment offers a wide variety of activities, programs, and services to support resident-led, resident-controlled, democratically run neighborhood organizations in the City of Knoxville. 
  
Awards: The Good Neighbor of the Year Award recognizes outstanding commitment and service to neighbors and to community building activities.  This is presented each year at the Neighborhood Awards Dinner. The next one will be on Thursday, March 7, 2024.  

The Neighborhood Achievement Awards recognize the work of the city's neighborhood organizations in improving, protecting, and enhancing our residential neighborhoods.  These are presented each year at the Neighborhood Awards Dinner, which will be on Thursday, March 7, 2024.  

Blighted Property:  Staff from the Office of Neighborhood Empowerment and the Neighborhood Codes Enforcement Office have developed a two pronged neighborhood approach to blight remediation.  The first, a short term approach, is detailed in our Neighborhood Give Day Guide.  The second is a long term approach, Long Term Neighborhood Blight Remediation Guide, which is also a guide describing ways neighborhoods can be proactive to improve their neighborhood.  Contact Debbie Sharp at [email protected] or 215-4382 for more information.  To report a blighted property, call 311 first.  To follow up on a blighted property that does not seem to be improving, fill out the Blighted Property Profile and email it to Cheri Burke at [email protected].

Community Wildlife Habitat Certification: The City of Knoxville is Certified as a Community Wildlife Habitat through the National Wildlife Federation.  Several of our neighborhoods are also certified as Community Wildlife Habitats.  South Woodlawn Neighborhood Association was the first neighborhood in the State of Tennessee to become certified, next in Knoxville was the Forest Heights Neighborhood Association, and then came the Historic Fourth and Gill Neighborhood Organization. If your neighborhood is interested in becoming certified, contact Debbie Sharp at [email protected] or 865-215-4382.

Consultation Services: Staff from the Office of Neighborhood Empowerment is available to assist individual neighborhood leaders and boards on the issues and challenges facing neighborhood groups. We also assist those who wish to start a new neighborhood group in an unorganized area of Knoxville.

Directory: If you are a neighborhood person looking for your neighborhood contact, a developer trying to reach a contact in the neighborhood, a political candidate that would like to speak at a neighborhood meeting, or City staff needing to reach out to a neighborhood contact, please call the Office of Neighborhood Empowerment at 865-215-3232, for this information. 

Emergency Preparedness: Our Emergency Preparedness Program raises awareness, provides speakers from various emergency agencies, and helps neighborhoods develop disaster preparedness plans at the block and neighborhood levels. The program also supports a network of neighborhood contacts who serve as liaisons to emergency services during a widespread disaster. 

Grants: The Neighborhood Small Grants Program provides competitive grants to neighborhood organizations in the city. The goal of the program is to improve quality of life in the neighborhood while building the capacity of the neighborhood organization to better serve the community. To receive grant funding for 2025, the project coordinator needs to attend one of our mandatory workshops in the spring. Grant applications for the 2025 grant cycle are due on Monday, July 22, 2024. For information about placemaking and other project ideas, check out ONE's Placemaking Guide

Micro Grants: For start-up groups that have been in contact with ONE, for established groups that would like to start a new project/event, OR for neighborhood organizations that have an active participant attend our "Building Strong Neighborhood Organizations" leadership workshop series, we have up to $500.00 to offer by way of a Micro Grant.  Please review the guidelines prior to filling out an application 

Healthy Knoxville: This program, fashioned after the Bill Haslam's Healthier Tennessee program, was in a pilot during 2021 and is now going to become an official program of Office of Neighborhood Empowerment.  It focuses on helping groups to organize around exercise, eating healthy, smoking cessation and/or looking at mental health concerns. 
2021
West Hills Community Association received a Platinum Award
Westwood Homeowners Association received a Silver Award
2022 
West Hills Community Association received a Platinum Award
Westwood Homeowners Association received a Silver Award

If your neighborhood is interested in participating in this program, contact our office. Here are the Healthy Knoxville Guidelines.   

Kickball Tournament: 
The ONE tried to sponsor its inaugural Kickball Tournament in April 2023; however, it got rained out. We have confirmed that our 2024 Kickball Tournament will be on Saturday, April 6, with a rain date of May 11.  More details to come soon. 

Leadership Training
:  "Building Strong Neighborhood Organizations (BSNO)" is a training series which works to give neighborhood members tools to strengthen their groups.  This is a leadership training class for anyone living in the city currently wanting to learn, who is already in a neighborhood organization or anyone wishing to start a neighborhood organization. This course is free, and snacks are provided.  Classes have not been scheduled for 2024 yet.  If you have questions, please reach out to Debbie Sharp at [email protected]

Maps: Maps of the boundaries of city neighborhood organizations - along with contact information for these groups - can be found in this KGIS Neighborhood Groups Viewer.

Neighborhood Input:  The Neighborhood Advisory Council provides advice and input to the City Administration, including the Office of Neighborhood Empowerment, on topics important to Knoxville's residential neighborhoods.  This is a 15 member board representing neighborhoods across the city.  The City is now taking applications for several seats.  Click the Neighborhood Advisory Council link above to find the application.  If you have questions, please reach out to Debbie Sharp at [email protected]

Neighborhood Resource Fair: This event is to help Knoxville neighbors get the opportunity to learn about all of the resources they have within city government, county government, and non-profit organizations.  It is a half day filled with networking, time to see friends, enjoy some great conversations, and collaborate with others.  For 2023, the event was Aug. 12, and it was a huge success.  We are planning for 2024.  If you have suggestions, please email them to Debbie Sharp at [email protected]

Neighborhood Revitalization: The Office of Neighborhood Empowerment works with various city departments that grapple with abandoned, blighted, and vacant properties, both residential and commercial, that present a challenge to residential neighborhoods. See Blight above for ways neighborhoods can address this opportunity.   

Neighborhood Signs: Neighborhood Signs are important for neighborhood identity.  If your group wants to install a sign, learn how to receive a city permit for a neighborhood entrance sign.

Neighborhood Events in City Parks/Facilities: For your neighborhood organization's convenience, here is a quick overview of how to reserve a spot in a City Park/Facility for your neighborhood events.   

Neighborhood Workshops: Workshops on a variety of topics are offered on a monthly basis. The Office of Neighborhood Empowerment welcomes your ideas for workshop topics. Call Debbie Sharp at 215-4382 or Take our survey.  

Newsletter: The Neighborly Notice is an "almost weekly" newsletter that provides news and tips important to Knoxville's resident-led, resident-controlled, democratically run neighborhood organizations.

NoogaKnox Challenge: The NoogaKnox Challenge is a friendly competition between the Knoxville and Chattanooga communities encouraging residents to improve their yards for the benefit of our region’s stormwater quality and the health of our watersheds and ecosystems. 

Officer Liaison Awards
: The Office of Neighborhood Empowerment with the partnership of Knoxville Police Department, started the Officer Liaison of the Year Award in 2019. 
2019 - Officer Eric Parks - Norwood Community Association
2020 - COVID
2021 - Officer John Morgan - Neighborhood Watch Coordinator 
2022 - Seth Blaine - Historic Fourth and Gill
This award is presented at the Neighborhood Awards Dinner which will take place on Thursday, March 7, 2024. 

Traffic Calming:  The Neighborhood Traffic Safety Program has been put on a pause. The program has been more popular that the city could have imagined, and therefore we did not anticipate the funding needs.  Those groups that are in the queue will keep moving through the program. Those that are currently on the waiting list will be notified as soon as there is funding to support more projects. For now, there is no longer a waiting list.  The city is taking a comprehensive look at the program and working to make improvements that are sustainable for the near future. Please check back in early 2025 to see if we are ready to publish our new program process. 

Wiffleball Tournament: The ONE sponsors an annual Wiffleball Tournament each year for neighborhoods to enjoy.  Winners over the past years have been:
2017 - Westwood Homeowners Association
2018 - Westwood Homeowners Association
2019 - Oakwood Lincoln Park Neighborhood Association
2021 - Oakwood Lincoln Park Neighborhood Association
2022 - Westwood Homeowners Association
2023 - Westwood Homeowners Association
2024 - Scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 28, 8 a.m.-12 noon
If your neighborhood is interested in participating, please contact Shannett Riley at [email protected].    

If you have a suggestion for the Office of Neighborhood Empowerment or for this Website, please contact us.

Mailing Address:
c/o Community Empowerment
P.O. Box 1631
Knoxville TN 37901

Debbie Sharp
Neighborhood Coordinator
Suite 546, City-County Building
[email protected]
865-215-3232

Hayley Howard
Assistant Neighborhood Coordinator
Suite 546, City County Building
[email protected] 
865-215-3232