• 04 Feb 2019 8:53 AM | Deleted user

    On January 30, Prosperity Indiana announced the winners of its annual leadership and program awards at its annual Summit. The Prosperity Indiana Summit was an occasion to celebrate the leaders and innovators in the community economic development field. The 2019 winners come from a pool of committed community leaders and innovative programs across Indiana. Winners are nominated by their peers and chosen by a judging committee based on criteria established for each award.

    Prosperity Indiana Executive Director Jessica Love said, “We’re so proud of the work of all of our members, who are dedicated to strengthening our communities. That’s why we take an opportunity each year to recognize a few of the people and programs that stand out for their excellence. We are proud to honor such an amazing group this year. Congrats to the 2019 winners of the Prosperity Indiana awards.”

    Award winners include: Indiana Supportive Housing Institute; George Okantey, Purdue Extension Community Development; David Miller, Hoosier Uplands Economic Development Corporation; Tom Fodor, Morning Light Inc.

    Key Award for Program of the Year - Sponsored by Merchants Bank of Indiana

    Presented to Indiana Supportive Housing Institute

    The Program of the Year Award honors excellence and innovation in a service-oriented community development initiative. This award recognizes a unique program model that leads in the area of service provision and/or volunteerism.

    IHCDA and CSH’s Institute for Supportive Housing builds the capacity of supportive housing providers to develop and implement service plans that are based on national best practices and Supportive Housing Dimensions of Quality. The program is unique in that it requires participation from service providers, developers, advocates, and other local partners from the very early stages of project concept, creating cross-collaboration and building partnerships for long-term success.

    Over the last nine years, 58 teams have completed the Institute, resulting in the creation of 44 developments containing 1,035 units of supportive housing with an additional 14 developments in the pipeline for funding.

    Other Key Award nominees:

    • Holding Hands with Our Future

    Photo by Al Bracken Photography. From Left to Right: Carol Gassen of Merchants Bank of Indiana, Jessica Love of Prosperity Indiana, Lori Phillips-Steele of CSH and Matt Rayburn and Jacob Sipe, both of IHCDA.

    Robert O. Zdenek Staff Member of the Year Award - Sponsored by Brightpoint

    Presented to George Okantey, Purdue Extension Community Development

    The Staff Member of the Year Award honors an extraordinary individual who contributes to his or her organization and to the community economic development field as a whole. This person shows leadership, personal initiative and is a public servant.

    George Okantey has been a Community Development Extension Educator for 20 years. He is passionate about convening diverse audiences across the state and increasing the capacity of local people, organizations and institutions to come together for the purpose of acting on current and future opportunities and challenges. Okantey is a coveted speaker, facilitator and trainer who makes an impact wherever he goes. In 2018 alone, he traveled widely across the state delivering more than 150 hours of instruction to nearly 550 adult learners.

    Other Staff Member of the Year Award Nominees:

    • Judith Essex, Old Southside Neighborhood Association
    • Leigh Riley Evans, Mapleton Fall Creek Development Corporation
    • Erin Macey, Indiana Institute for Working Families
    • Stephanie Roland, Old National Bank
    • Jeffrey Sparks, Sagamore Institute
    • Christal Stephenson, New Albany Housing Authority
    • Evan Tester, King Park Development Corporation

    Photo by
    Al Bracken Photography. George Okantey of Purdue Extension

    John Niederman Rural Development Leadership Award - Sponsored by First Financial Bank

    Presented to David Miller, Hoosier Uplands Economic Development Corporation

    The Rural Development Leadership Award honors an individual who has demonstrated outstanding leadership in improving the quality of life, influencing policies, and fostering opportunities for growth and development for the betterment of rural Indiana.

    David Miller is said to spend every day striving to drive the mission of Hoosier Uplands Economic Development Corporation, and his commitment to innovation can be seen in the services, changes and overall impact that he and the organization continue to make every year. Under his leadership, Hoosier Uplands has been able to support other local organizations with mini grants to improve, create and sustain their services. They also assisted over 550 patients in their home health and hospice programs and over 1,400 in their Serenity Now clinic in Bedford. They continue to serve as an Area Agency on Aging, Community Action Agency, licensed Home Health Care, and a Community Housing Development Organization, as well as oversee Head Start programs.

    Other Rural Development Leadership Award Nominees:

    • Brenda Myers, Hamilton County Tourism

    Photo by Al Bracken Photography. From Left to Right: Jessica Love of Prosperity Indiana, John Niederman of Pathfinder Services (accepting on behalf of David Miller of Hoosier Uplands), Angela Byer of First Financial Bank

    Image result for fifth third bankMichael Carroll Community Economic Development Leadership Award - Sponsored by Fifth Third Bank

    Presented to Tom Fodor, Morning Light Inc.

    This Leadership Award, jointly presented by Prosperity Indiana and the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority, honors an individual who has exhibited exceptional advocacy to further support the community economic development field.

    Since his hire as Executive Director and CEO of Morning Light Inc. in 2012, Tom Fodor has focused his leadership on improving staff quality and retention, increasing hospice house occupancy, developing affordable housing programming and activities, and developing partnerships with other prominent programs in the community. Fodor continues to lead in the realm of health and housing, including national recognition and awards for health system innovation and policy. Morning Light has also led successful pilot projects to expand the field’s approach to addressing terminally ill homeless individuals.

    In addition to national advocacy on behalf of affordable housing, Fodor served on the Indiana CHIP Continuum of Care Planning and Investment Committee for two years. He also served as an advocate for family shelters through his leadership of two programs at the American Red Cross Chapter in Dayton, OH.

    Other Leadership Award nominees:

    • John Franklin Hay, Near East Area Renewal
    • Michael Howe, Community Alliance of the Far Eastside
    • Sister Dorothy Rasche, The Connecting Link

    Photo by Al Bracken Photography. Tom Fodor of Morning Light Inc.

  • 01 Feb 2019 12:45 PM | Deleted user

    Prosperity Indiana is excited to announce the launch of the Empower Indiana Grant Challenge in partnership with the CareSource Foundation. This grant program is designed to fund innovative solutions to unique community challenges that involve the social determinants of health.

    Along with nearly 200 dedicated members, Prosperity Indiana believes in a society where all persons are able to live and work in an environment that provides equitable access to economic and social opportunity. This exciting new program provides yet another opportunity to help inspire the Prosperity Indiana network to find new ways to strengthen Hoosier communities.

    Prosperity Indiana Executive Director Jessica Love said, “The more we learn about the social determinants of health, the more we recognize innovative interventions and partnerships with the health community are absolutely essential to changing the quality of life for our low-income neighbors. We are absolutely thrilled at the opportunity to partner with CareSource to make positive change on health outcomes in member communities and are thankful for the Foundation’s leadership in this realm.”

    CareSource was launched 30 years ago in Dayton, Ohio, as one of the only nonprofit health plans in the United States designed to address both health and life issues of low-income individuals and families. Since then, they have expanded into four other states (Kentucky, Indiana, Georgia and West Virginia) providing Medicaid, Marketplace and Medicare Advantage services.

    The CareSource Foundation has committed $100,000 to fund grants to nonprofit members of Prosperity Indiana in areas of greatest need, impact and innovation.

    According to Cathy Ponitz, Vice President with CareSource, acknowledges great synergy between their organizations. “The CareSource Foundation is focused on working in parallel with our business mission by tackling critical health issues, strengthening the social safety net and developing relationships with great community partners. Prosperity Indiana and their exceptional member network are doing impressive work. We’re excited to launch the Empower Indiana strategy to continue moving forward with positive change for all Hoosiers.”

    Interested applicants are encouraged to attend a free informational webinar being held at 10 am February 28. Proposals are due April 4, 2019, and grant recipients will be announced in May. For more information about the grant program and to register for the webinar, visit www.ProsperityIndiana.org/EmpowerIN.

  • 14 Jan 2019 3:04 PM | Deleted user

    Looking for funds to do a community mural, support your town's concert series or kick start a downtown festival? 

    Then you need to check out Arts Project Support Grants from the Indiana Arts Commission - city, town and county governments are eligible and encouraged to apply!

    Arts Project Support grants may be applied to any activities that support the arts including one-time events, single theatre productions, exhibitions, educational seminars, festivals, and more.

    Last year we supported:

    Interested in an Arts Project Support grant for your town? Here are some links to help you get started.

    Download the guidelines

    Start your application

    Meet your Regional Arts Partner

    Have questions? Contact Paige Sharp (psharp@iac.in.gov) or your Regional Arts Partner representative.

  • 27 Dec 2018 12:15 PM | Deleted user

    Prosperity Indiana has lots of members-only resources that you can access simply by logging in on our website!

    Go to ProsperityIndiana.org and click on Log in. Forgot your password? No problem! It’s easy to reset it!

    Once you’ve arrived at the Member Portal, explore all of the benefits available to you! In the Resource Library you can access all kinds of resources around affordable housing, comprehensive community development, management and leadership and so much more! Search the Member Directory to connect with your peers in the Prosperity Indiana network. The Legislation Tracker gives you the latest updates on legislation related to your work. You can also get quick access to our webinar library and the most recent edition of our Piece of the PI newsletter!

    If you have any questions about logging in to the Member Portal or any of your other Prosperity Indiana Member Benefits, contact our Relationships Manager, Rita O’Donohue, at rodonohue@prosperityindiana.org.

  • 06 Dec 2018 11:54 AM | Deleted user

    The National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations (NACEDA) has opened early bird registration for the People & Places 2019 conference. The event will take place April 15-17 in Arlington, VA. 

    Join people from different regions, cultures, and national networks as we share what's working to strengthen places and advance racial equality. We'll inspire each other, strengthen our skills, unite our networks, and raise our voices on behalf of the communities we serve. 

    NACEDA will also host a pre-conference workshop, Claim the Torch: Community Organizations Advancing Racial Equity, on the morning of April 15.

    Register here 

    Scholarships are available for registration, hotel, and/or transportation. Those interested in a scholarship can contact Michelle Johnson at mjohnson@prosperityindiana.org.


  • 06 Dec 2018 10:16 AM | Deleted user

    The future looks bright in Martindale-Brightwood as the neighborhood celebrates the groundbreaking of a permanent branch of the Indianapolis Public Library and new KIPP charter high school, as well as the official opening of Edna Martin's Leadership and Legacy Center. 

    Edna Martin Christian Center executive director Tysha Sellers said the development is a step toward fulfilling the neighborhood’s quality of life plan and “listening to residents, businesses and those who want Martindale-Brightwood to be the best place to be.”

    Read the full article in the Indianapolis Business Journal. 

  • 30 Nov 2018 11:30 AM | Deleted user
    John Boner Neighborhood Centers is co-hosting the 2019 National Alliance for Strong Families and Communities in Indianapolis October 16-18, 2019. This conference will be held at the Westin Hotel in downtown Indianapolis. The conference is the Alliance's largest event and provides an opportunity to showcase practice, policy, and research that advances knowledge and action in the following areas: 

    A Thriving and Vibrant Nonprofit Sector: Advancing practices and policies that ensure a well-resourced and financially sustainable nonprofit sector that is resilient, able to manage risk effectively, and positioned for innovation and growth.

    Health and Well-Being: Advancing an integrated, holistic, prevention-first health model that responds to the social determinants of health and achieves improved outcomes, particularly for populations experiencing disparities. 

    Educational Success: Advancing a continuum of educational supports from cradle-to-career to prepare children and youth to succeed in the 21st century.

    Economic Opportunity: Advancing policies, programs, models, and systems that advance living wages and pathways to financial well-being that support economic mobility and reduce poverty. 

    Safety and Security: Advancing systems working together to ensure that children, adults, and families thrive and are safe from abuse, neglect, violence, and exploitation. 

    Click here for more information about content focus areas, presentation formats, and submission requirements. The deadline for submissions is December 12. 

  • 16 Nov 2018 5:21 PM | Deleted user

    Prosperity Indiana is one of many partners who collaborated to launch the Opportunity Investment Consortium of Indiana and its Opportunity Zone deal matching portal. With a $100,000 investment from Fifth Third Bank for the initiative, consortium backbone organizations and training and resource partners hosted a launch event for early adopters at United Way of Central Indiana on November 16, 2018. The portal will connect investors and Opportunity Funds looking for projects with potential Opportunity Zone developers and businesses. As a training and resource partner, Prosperity Indiana will provide in-person and webinar training opportunities related to Opportunity Zones. Watch for upcoming trainings on our events page

    To learn more about joining the consortium and accessing the online portal, visit the OIC website

    For more information on the launch, see these articles: 

    IBJ: New consortium to promote, facilitate investments in state 'opportunity zones'
    OFN: Opportunity Investment Consortium of Indiana Launches to Support Projects in Newly-Named Opportunity Zones
    Inside Indiana Business: Portal to Promote 'Opportunity Zone' Investment

  • 15 Nov 2018 1:24 PM | Deleted user

    Sens. Kaine and Hatch unveil bill to protect low-income families from housing discrimination

    November 15, 2018, HousingWire

    Ben Lane

    Two of the most notable senators on opposing sides of the political aisle are partnering to unveil a bill that would expand the Fair Housing Act to include protections for low-income families and military veterans.

    This week, Sens. Tim Kaine, D-Virginia, and Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, introduced the “Fair Housing Improvement Act of 2018,” which would prohibit housing discrimination based on source of income or veteran status.

    According to Kaine and Hatch, the Fair Housing Act currently does not strictly prohibit discrimination based on those factors, meaning that landlords may deny housing opportunities to renters using housing vouchers.

    But under Kaine and Hatch’s bill, the Fair Housing Act would be expanded to include source of income and veteran status among the other anti-discriminatory factors, which include race or color, religion, sex, national origin, familial status, or disability.

    This isn’t the first time that Kaine has tried to expand the protected classes under the Fair Housing Act. Last year, Kaine led the effort to introduce the “Fair and Equal Housing Act of 2017,” which would have prohibited housing discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

    The fair housing cause is one long championed by Kaine, who spent much of pre-political career as a fair housing lawyer.

    “As a fair housing lawyer, I witnessed the pain experienced by families who were discriminated against as they searched for a home,” Kaine said in a statement. “Housing decisions should be made on a potential tenant’s merits, not harmful prejudices that hurt the nation’s veterans and families in-need. The Fair Housing Improvement Act will help us continue that long pursuit to protect all Americans from discrimination.”

    Congress currently provides vouchers to help 2.2 million veterans and low-income households afford housing, and this bill would help ensure they actually are able to obtain the housing they need.

    “Helping veterans lead lives of dignity and independence has long been among my top priorities. This bill is part and parcel to that legacy,” Hatch said in a statement.

    “It will put an end to the immoral housing discrimination against veterans and others who rely on veterans’ benefits, social security disability, or other non-wage legal income,” Hatch added. “This bill will address the fact that Source of Income is not a protected class under the Federal Fair Housing Act, thereby helping to remove an unnecessary barrier facing Utah families and veterans on the path to self-reliance.”

    The move comes just a few months after the Department of Housing and Urban Development launched a push to get more landlords to accept housing vouchers, citing two studies that “most” landlords do not accept housing vouchers and therefore deny affordable housing opportunities to those who need it most.

    According to Kaine’s office, the bill is supported by:

    American Bar Association

    Housing Opportunities Made Equal Virginia

    National Fair Housing Alliance

    National Housing Law Project

    National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials

    National Low Income Housing Coalition

    Paralyzed Veterans of America; Veterans Association of Real Estate Professionals

    Virginia Poverty Law Center

  • 15 Nov 2018 8:21 AM | Deleted user

    Members receive all workforce housing awards

    The Indiana Housing & Community Development Authority announced 19 Rental Housing Tax Credit awards on November 15, 2018.

    Prosperity Indiana members received tax credit awards in the following set-aside categories: Rural, Preservation, Workforce Housing, Community Integration, Qualified Not-for-Profit, and Small City. One member award was received in each category, except Workforce Housing, which garnered two member awards.

    Members who received tax credit allocations include The Englewood Group (Rural), Partners in Housing (Preservation), Herman & Kittle (Workforce), RealAmerica (Workforce), Milestone Ventures (Community Integration), HOPE of Evansville (Qualified NFP), and Crestline (Small City). 

    See the IHCDA website for the applicant list and full awarded and denied lists. 

    Interested in commenting on the Qualified Allocation Plan, which determines how tax credit projects are awarded? Prosperity Indiana is hosting events on December 6, 7 and 14 in South Bend, Evansville and Indianapolis. Members can register here

Policy News

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