Legacy Foundation receives JPMorgan Chase grant to launch Lake County Community Development Corporation


    Legacy Foundation announces support from the JPMorgan Chase Foundation to launch a new community development corporation (CDC) for Lake County, Indiana.

    “We appreciate the support from JPMorgan Chase for Legacy Foundation to develop and launch the Lake County CDC. We see this as an opportunity to provide much-needed community development support to area neighborhoods,” said Legacy Foundation President Carolyn Saxton.

    CDCs are nonprofit, community-based organizations focused on revitalizing the areas in which they are located. Legacy Foundation will initially house the Lake County CDC and provide administrative staff, office space, and technology. “Our incubation of the CDC will complement the outcomes of Legacy’s Neighborhood Spotlight and Choice Neighborhood initiatives that culminated this year,” said Saxton. JPMorgan Chase also supported Neighborhood Spotlight.

    Through Neighborhood Spotlight and Choice Neighborhood, community groups were trained to engage residents and leaders, develop a community plan, and implement projects. FAITH Farms, a project of Gary, Indiana’s Emerson neighborhood, for example, turned a vacant lot into an urban garden with greenhouses and a steady group of volunteers who grow fresh vegetables, fruits and herbs. Gary’s Miller neighborhood leveraged the Spotlight program to secure funding for a bike-sharing program.

    After working with five northwest Indiana neighborhoods – the Emerson, Miller, and University Park East communities of Gary, Griffith, and northwest Hobart – Legacy and partners determined that a county-wide community development corporation could help deepen resident engagement and move to greater implementation in existing neighborhoods. In the future the CDC can engage and support new neighborhoods.

    “The short term goal of this project is to create a sustainable CDC that will be able to focus on the transformation of vulnerable, undervalued and transitional neighborhoods into healthier places where people invest their time, energy and resources and where residents are engaged in community problem solving,” said Legacy Foundation Vice President Kelly Anoe. “In the long term, we believe this will increase access to economic opportunity and mobility for residents across Lake County.”

    Legacy will hire the CDC’s Acting Director and work with that individual throughout years one and two to create by-laws, establish a Board of Directors, create a strategic plan, and become a self-sustaining organization. After the initial year, the Lake County CDC will apply for independent tax exempt status and seek new partnerships and funding opportunities to sustain it for the long term.

    The position will be responsible for establishing policies, objectives, and a business plan to create a sustainable independent CDC in Lake County, Ind. Legacy Foundation seeks a strategic thinker responsible for the day-to-day operations, regulatory compliance, liaison with governmental bodies, management of development projects, and creation/implementation of long term plans of CDC.

    Interested candidates can apply now. A full job description is available at http://legacyfdn.org/careers-.php.


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