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Prosperity Indiana helps Michigan City neighbors create plan for positive change

20 Jan 2017 3:27 PM | Deleted user

After almost a year of working alongside the City of Michigan City and the residents of Michigan City’s Eastport neighborhood, the quality of life planning process that Prosperity Indiana guided for that community is completed. Now in the implementation phase, the plan was presented to the City Council by Director of Capacity Building Rose Scovel on January 17.

Using a comprehensive community development model, Prosperity Indiana helped residents and stakeholders in the Eastport neighborhood develop a plan for the future of the area. Taking into account insightsfrom formal and informal leaders, the plan addresses what the public, private and philanthropic sectors can do in collaboration with residents and stakeholders to make Eastport a better place to live, work, and play.                                                                                                                                                                            

With the project now completed, Rose said, “The most rewarding part of doing this work is becoming part of the neighborhood, having people get to know one another and want to work together. That, and bringing resources to the community that they weren't familiar with.”

Rose Scovel 

The neighborhood planning process included focus group meetings, listening sessions, surveys, a visioning session, and goals and action planning meetings. The culmination of the planning process is a neighborhood level plan for improving their quality of life. In Eastport, the five key topic areas for the plan, around which there were individual working groups, are Business, Housing, Walkability, Civic Infrastructure, and Engagement/Pride.

While Prosperity Indiana has a well-defined process that can be adapted to every community, each neighborhood has its own unique set of opportunities and challenges that come to bear, many of which will take months or years after completing the plan to fully take advantage of or otherwise address. While this makes the work more difficult, it is also what makes it so important.

Rose said, “The most challenging part is that there are issues facing the neighborhood (like food access) that there isn't the capacity to resolve in a time frame that is meaningful to the neighborhood.”

That is why helping neighbors establish a unifying force to work together is vital to their future. For many communities, the planning process is just as crucial to their success as the actual plan. Often neighbors meet for the first time and find common interests and concerns during this endeavor to create their shared vision for the future of the area. Finding this connection with their neighbors sets them up for greater success when they move to implementation.

Rose noted, “The most exciting outcome in Eastport is that the neighborhood resident group is reforming and developing their capacity to lead change in the neighborhood.”

And positive change is exactly what Prosperity Indiana is in the business of helping people and places create across the state. 

For more about this project, see the following press releases and media briefs from AprilJune, JulyAugust/August (FAQ) 2016 and January 2017.

Prosperity Indiana
1099 N. Meridian Street, Suite 170
Indianapolis, IN 46204 
Phone // 317.222.1221 
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