2017 Grant Finalists

The 14 finalists for Faith & Action Project grants follow.

1. Achieve International Inc. is requesting $50,000 for Achieve Academy, its educational arm. The funding would support Achieve’s programs, which use boxing and judo as a means for teaching discipline, self-motivation and dedication to at-risk and disadvantaged youth. At the same time, Achieve assists participants in navigating post-secondary education, employment and vocational training. The funding would help to support the cost of the programs, which are free to clients.

2. Broadway United Methodist Church is requesting $43,200 to fund a program focused on improving families’ economic mobility, defined as comprising educational attainment, household income and living environment. Modeled after a program created by Families Independence Initiative, the program would build small groups around families, provide families with stipends in return for completing certain activities, and require families to set and pursue three goals that would improve their economic mobility.

3. Edna Martin Christian Center, American Baptist Churches of Greater Indianapolis and Eastern Star Church hope to use grant funds to increase the number of stable households in the 46218 zip code. Program activities include working to bring more families into homes that are being built or refurbished in the neighborhood, providing education support and mentoring, assisting in employment readiness and acquisition, and ensuring basic needs are met. The requested $50,000 would help the partners serve 100 children and their parents.

4. The Indiana Division of the Salvation Army’s Pathway of Hope initiative aims to raise hope, increase sufficiency and break the cycle of generational poverty for families with children who desire to change the direction of their lives. The requested $32,000 would support the salary of 30-hour-a-week family advocate, who provides hands-on guidance to families working to overcome challenges and holds them accountable for progress, as well as provide funds to help families overcome financial barriers to stability and help to underwrite supplies and support expenses.

5. Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana is requesting funding for New Beginnings, its six-month transitional jobs program for formerly incarcerated persons. Participants work four days a week at Goodwill Commercial Services or Retail Outlet locations and spend one day a week in a six-hour class focused on life-skill development and stabilization activities. The requested $35,000 grant would support program activities that an existing federal grant does not.

6. Keep Indianapolis Beautiful is requesting a $10,000 grant to expand its Adopt-A-Block program to the eastside area served by Shepherd Community Center’s Shalom Project. Adopt-A-Block seeks to address poverty by building stronger community interaction through resident-volunteer led and driven litter cleanup and planting projects.

7. MLK Center hopes to expand its existing Neighborhood & Family Advocacy Project, which takes a multigenerational approach to helping families in the Crown Hill, Butler Tarkington, Mapleton Fall Creek and Meridian Kessler neighborhoods. The program seeks to improve academic success for students at IPS School #43, stabilize families emotionally and financially, and nurture a sense of community and connectedness. The requested $50,000 grant would support a portion of the salary for an employment coach and provide clients with funds to help them overcome financial barriers to stability.

8. ProAct Indy is requesting $35,000 to fund its Project (Greater Than) Me and Kids in Action programs, which expose kids to service opportunities while providing them with life-skills training. The programs target at-risk children ages 10-18, specifically those who are struggling with significant life changes and, as such, experience low self-esteem and behavioral issues, and who consistently earn an average grade of C+ or lower.

9. Purposeful Design, which employs men who have emerged from addiction or homelessness and trains them to make hand-crafted custom furniture, seeks a $50,000 grant to help it expand and improve its production facility in order to employ more men. The program also plans to launch a new School of Woodworking and Discipleship to train men and youth in woodworking, employment readiness and Godly living.

10. School on Wheels is seeking $15,000 to establish a “post-shelter” support program, which would provide educational support to families as they recover from the impact of recent homelessness. The funds would help to support services including educational assessments after a family moves out of a homeless shelter, school enrollment assistance, school supplies and uniform assistance, transportation stipends, and parent workshops to help parent engage in their child’s education.

11. Shepherd Community Inc. seeks a grant to support the 46201 Project. Targeting the 46201 zip code, the project would build seven new homes, repair up to 110 homes and acquire as many as 25 abandoned homes for rehabilitation. In addition, it would create two new food-distribution points and support the planting of 500 backyard gardens. The requested $40,000 would cover the cost of materials and labor for repairs on the 110 homes and serve more than 350 individuals.

12. The Society of St. Vincent DePaul and Trusted Mentors are requesting $50,000 to expand a collaboration between Trusted Mentors and the Society’s Changing Lives Forever program, an 18-week curriculum that helps individuals increase their self-sufficiency and break the cycle of poverty. Changing Lives Forever works to help participants understand the root causes of poverty and therefore see how to improve their opportunities. The funds will allow 50% more Changing Lives participants to work directly with mentors.

13. Trinity Episcopal Church seeks to help the 35 percent of homeless young people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. Partnering with the Indiana Youth Group, Trinity intends to launch Trinity House, which will offer a safe environment for youth ages 16 to 21. In addition to shelter, the youths staying at Trinity House would have access to legal services, life-skills training, assistance with education and job training, and facilitated connections to other community service agencies. Trinity is seeking $40,000 to cover a program director’s salary for one year.

14. You Yes You!, seeks to break the cycle of poverty by building and rebuilding relationships between incarcerated fathers and their daughters. The program, which began as a father-daughter dance in a Department of Corrections facility, now includes services ranging from re-entry and job-placement services for fathers and mentoring for daughters, to therapeutic counseling sessions for both. The requested $30,000 grant would allow the program to expand to one additional correctional facility.