$50 million initiative focused on people in Indianapolis living in poverty

The Lilly Endowment has announced a $50 million initiative focused on the development and expansion of collaborative strategies designed to help people in Indianapolis living in or near poverty achieve lasting economic self-sufficiency.

The Enhancing Opportunity in Indianapolis initiative will award grants of between $50,000 and $10 million over as many as five years in support of a range of ideas, programs, and strategies proposed by human services agencies, congregations and faith-based organizations, schools, institutions of higher education, hospitals, community organizations, arts and culture organizations, and other public charities. Recognizing that the causes of and conditions related to poverty and financial insecurity are complex and varied, the endowment is especially interested in collaborative proposals that involve high-touch personal approaches and have been developed with significant input from people living in poverty.

"In recent years, an average of a hundred and eighty thousand Indianapolis residents annually have experienced the challenges of poverty, with many struggling to meet even their basic needs," said Rob Smith, senior vice president for collaborative strategies at the endowment. "A sustained, community-wide response is needed to help them overcome these challenges. Fortunately, our city has a history of coming together to address challenges and pursue opportunities, and we hope that this initiative can tap into that community spirit."

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