Impact, outcomes take many forms
Unacceptable Fact of the Month
Slightly more than 19 percent of Indiana children suffer from food insecurity.
Eight people got jobs. A group of neighbors launched a micro-lending fund. Twenty-three families received two-generation wrap around services. Formerly incarcerated workers renewed their professional licenses.
Those are just a few of the tangible benefits that the six 2017 Faith & Action grant recipients credited to their grants in the interim reports they recently submitted to us. As I read these reports and talked to the organizations’ leaders, I was continually humbled.
At the same time, I was excited by other, perhaps less measurable, products of grantees’ work. Recipients said the Project helped them forge relationships that could lead to fruitful partnerships. One described how the grant allowed his organization to reimagine its operational model. Another said it helped the organization expand services. Yet another praised how the grant allowed a program to meet participants “where they are.”
This range of outcomes suggests that the Faith & Action Project is achieving one of its goals: to effect real change in the lives people living in poverty today while also facilitating relationships and innovations that lead to lasting improvements in our community.
At the same time I received these reports, I was also in the process of informing 13 of our 2018 Faith & Action Grant applicants that they had been approved to advance to the next round in the granting process. (See the list of finalists below.) Once again, we received powerful, impactful and hopeful proposals. And, once again, I was humbled by the dedication of people like you who want to defeat poverty in our community. Final applications were due on June 13, and 2018 grant recipients will be notified in August.
The overlap of grant reports and grant applications highlights the annual and cyclical nature of the Faith & Action Project, which operates on a three-part annual cycle: fall speaker event, spring conference and grant program. So, I’ll take this opportunity to remind you now to mark your calendar for our next fall event, which will be on Oct. 23 at Clowes Memorial Hall. We’ll announce our speaker and theme in the weeks ahead.
Lindsey Nell Rabinowitch
Project Director, Faith & Action Project
Indy Poverty Gets Coverage
In the past few weeks, Central Indiana poverty has received increased coverage by local media. Indianapolis Business Journal announced in an editorial that it is launching an investigative series on the issues surrounding Indianapolis’ equity gap, assigning reporter Hayleigh Colombo to write the occasional series titled “One City, Worlds Apart.” Meanwhile, in The Indianapolis Star, reporters have covered the Poor People’s Campaign’s nonviolent poverty protests, columnist Russ Pulliam wrote about the contrast between recent jobs announcements and the ongoing challenges in neglected neighborhoods, and other reporters have written about organizations working to revive poor neighborhoods, including 2017 Faith & Action Grant recipient Eastern Star Church.
Lessons from Elsewhere: Expanding to Serve
By being open to opportunity and responsive to emerging needs, Charlottesville, Va., food-distribution and nutrition-education program Bread & Roses has expanded into areas not anticipated when it started. Originally a garden and healthy-cooking program, Bread & Roses has become a community forum for conversations about issues such as racial reconciliation and food equity as well as a link to the local refugee community. One additional bonus: The program has proven especially effective at helping to connect the community and church members. Learn more here.”
The Faith & Action Project received 36 applications for consideration for its 2018 grants. The jury was overwhelmed by the high quality of the submissions, and it chose 13 finalists to move to Round Two of the program, which asks applicants to submit full summaries of their program proposals. Following are the Round Two applicants:
- Big Brothers Big Sisters
- Heart Change Ministries
- Horizons with Tabernacle Presbyterian Church
- Mary Riggs Community Center
- Project Transformation Indy
- Partners In Housing
- Purposeful Design
- ROCK initiative with Eastern Star Church
- Shepherd Community
- Trinity Haven with Trinity Episcopal Church
- Trusted Mentors
The Glass Castle, by Jeanette Walls. Like J.D. Vance’s more recent Hillbilly Elegy, The Glass Castle is a brutally honest memoir of growing up in poverty by someone who has gone on to a successful career. (Walls has contributed to national magazines and television news programs.) While it lacks the accompanying research and analysis that made Vance’s book so impactful, The Glass Castle nonetheless helps those who have never experienced poverty to better understand root causes of poverty and some of the ways that poverty carries through generations.
Mark your calendar for these important dates.
August — Grant recipients announced
Oct. 23 — Faith & Action fall event at Clowes Memorial Hall