The Crooked Creek Community Development Corporation is committed to building partnerships that will empower the community to achieve its desired quality of life.
How? Through our programs and partnerships:
Lion Catcher Program: Eradicate Poverty
Reconnect Neighbors to the Broader Community
vWe understand that many neighbors are disconnected from the community. For neighbors who are not satisfied with their economic, health, or social situation, this disconnect is a major barrier. We aim to help neighbors increase their social capital while leveraging their existing assets.
Our unique tactic is to focus on increasing social capital. Increasing one’s connections to others – a bigger network, broader network, more productive network. Think of yourself or your child needing a job. The bigger, broader, and more productive your network the better the opportunity to get a satisfying job. So increasing one’s social capital increases OPPORTUNITY.
Another key to our work is the approach known as Asset-Based Community Development. What we do is not to look only at our neighbors’ needs, but rather identify their gifts, talents, passion and leverage that. Recognizing, encouraging, and investing in these gifts pays dividends for any specific neighbor AND also for the community.
We do this via a two pronged approach:
Community School Partnership: The Crooked Creek CDC works with a new school in Washington Township – Willow Lake Elementary School. We will play two roles. One is to help families increase their social capital and leverage their existing gift and talents. Another role is to establish and manage extra curricular to further develop students who may not have access to ample developmental experiences.
Relationship Building in Apartment Communities. The large majority of economically challenged families in Crooked Creek live in a densely populated area of apartment communities where disconnection from the broader community appears common. We will apply the same approach to social capital and leveraging gifts and talents of our neighbors.
We already see quality of life increasing for our neighbors. This is life changing work. We expect to see increases in income and health for families we encounter along this journey.
Engage our neighbors
The Crooked Creek neighborhood has valuable diversity in its residents: economic, racial, and cultural diversity which provide interesting cultures, fabulous ethnic cuisine, and educational richness. Looking into economic diversity we see pockets of extreme wealth and poverty. The good news is that our community (both business and individual resident) have the capacity to invest to improve the trajectory of our lower income neighbors’ quality of life.
As we engage neighbors throughout the community and at any place along the diversity continuum we know we will find an abundance of assets. Our mission is to connect these assets.
Sometimes the assets we encounter want to advise neighbors or invest in neighbors or listen to neighbors. Listening to neighbors describe their dreams, gifts, and passions may trigger a response by the listener who will find a way to add their gifts to engage with the person describing the dream.
The CDC has not received funding to support home repair for several years. We have referred neighbors to Habitat for Humanity and INHP both of which are supported by the city of Indianapolis for the purpose of Home Repair and have excellent programs. Home Repair for our low-income neighbors is a crucial concern, and a deteriorating home can destroy equity and financial stability developed with hard work over many years. One deteriorating house can also have negative affects on home values nearby.
The demand for Home Repair is much greater that what the city has and probably will ever have funding for. We are considering innovative ideas to generate a sustainable income stream that is not dependent on government sources nor philanthropy. This is a big effort we are pursuing in the later part of 2019 including the city as we design solutions.
Improving access to physical spaces and assets
While a large portion of the CDC’s effort will focus on enhanced programmatic responses to community needs, it is clear that a parallel neighborhood physical improvement program will also be an important component of our comprehensive approach. The Crooked Creek CDC will serve as a primary facilitator for efforts to create, upgrade or unveil physical assets that will improve safety and create opportunities for improved and intentional connections for community members. The CDC will work with private and public entities to address physical spaces and assets. This will include working with apartment owners to address housing quality and services on site, collaborating with private investors to undertake commercial and housing development projects, and partnering with city and state agencies to upgrade or enhance local infrastructure.
Key initiatives for the physical spaces and assets portion of the Healthy Households Project focus on improving connections to services, economic opportunities and quality of life elements for Crooked Creek neighbors include:neighbors to be involved in and serve the community.