Three poverty-fighting projects selected for 2018 grants
The Faith & Action Project at Christian Theological Seminary has awarded grants totaling $100,000 for three efforts aimed at reducing poverty in Indianapolis.
The 2018 grant recipients follow.
- $50,000 to the ROCK Initiative at Eastern Star Church in partnership with Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership, Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic and RecycleForce. The Double Forward Initiative seeks to disrupt the cycle of recidivism and housing eviction in the 46218 zip code. With new housing options, a grocery store and counseling services already being developed, this grant will create avenues to second-chance opportunities by helping project participants gain financial stability and integrate educational and life-skills attainment, assisting with housing placement and educating participants about smart rental practices.
- $30,000 to Heart Change Ministries. Heart Change provides ongoing, daily support to vulnerable families in the Brookside neighborhood who are working to achieve stability through formal and informal counseling. Heart Change staff and volunteers develop deep personal relationships with individual moms with a goal of helping them make lasting changes. Heart Change will use the grant to finish renovations at the house that will serve as home for its Gift of Work initiative called Heart Felt Soaps. The new space will allow Heart Change to employ more women and sell more soaps, thus helping moms break the cycle of generational poverty.
- $20,000 to Outreach Inc. Outreach provides homeless youth with a safe refuge from the unrelenting pressures of homelessness. During drop-in hours at the near eastside facility, youth have access to laundry facilities, computer labs, a food pantry, shower facilities, and family-style warm meals. Additionally, homeless youth are supported on their journey by case managers who help the youth navigate a path to sustainable independence and growth.
“At the Faith & Action Project, we believe that building on a community’s existing assets can be more powerful than focusing on a community’s unmet needs,” said Faith & Action Director Lindsey Nell Rabinowitch. “These projects offer great examples of asset-based solutions that engage a faith component along with nonprofit partners, something that’s integral to the Faith & Action mission.”
The Faith & Action Project received 36 applications for consideration for its 2018 grants. The jury chose 13 finalists to move to Round Two of the program, which required full project summaries.
“Ultimately the jury selected the three programs they feel have the greatest potential to create real, lasting change,” added Rabinowitch.
Launched in 2016, the Faith & Action Project at Christian Theological Seminary is supported by the Mike and Sue Smith Family Fund and Lumina Foundation as a multiyear effort to help reduce poverty in Indianapolis. In addition to providing grants, the Faith & Action Project has held communitywide events and attracted national poverty experts to Central Indiana.
The three recipient projects will be highlighted at the Faith & Action Project’s next public event, which is Oct. 23 at 7 p.m. at Clowes Memorial Hall and features Michelle Alexander, author of the bestseller, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness.
In 2017, Faith & Action awarded $125,000 in grants to six efforts: Goodwill’s New Beginnings; Purposeful Design; Broadway United Methodist Church; Trinity Episcopal Church; School on Wheels; and Edna Martin Christian Center, American Baptist Churches of Greater Indianapolis and Eastern Star Church.