In June 2019, SAVI released a report documenting the Changing Landscape in Poverty in Central Indiana. It revealed an increase in poverty in older suburban neighborhoods of Indianapolis, especially in places like the Far Eastside. But it only scratched the surface in understanding poverty, its impacts, and what can be done; and organizations need support to synthesize this information to move to action.
We continued the work in 2020-2021 with the support of a Glick Fund grant and other SAVI funders (United Way of Central Indiana, IUPUI, Marion County Public Health Dept., and Lilly Endowment Inc.), expanding the community research around poverty to explore topics such as disparities, access to resources, impacts, and other related factors to provide a deeper understanding of the issue in most impacted neighborhoods. Our data and capacity building efforts focused on two neighborhoods experiencing increased poverty and heavily impacted by COVID-19: the Northwest neighborhood area (including International Marketplace, Eagledale, Speedway, and others) and Northeast neighborhood area (including southern Lawrence, 42nd/Post, and others).
We created a web tool to disseminate findings from the 2019 Trends in Poverty Report, and we developed new research about trends in poverty. We published two reports (“Health and economic impacts of COVID-19” and “Equity and economic opportunity”) along with maps and other visualization tools to interact with the report data and promoted them through social media, WFYI, newsletters, and partners. Over 2,777 people read these reports. We designed a workshop series called “Building Community during Crisis” with three workshops over nine months to help 22 leaders from 18 organizations understand what our latest research means and how they can turn this data into action:
• Responding to poverty and COVID-19
• Assets and resources
• Economic opportunity.
These organizations included: Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana, Inc.; Transform Consulting Group; Marion County Public Health Department; InTouch Outreach Resource Center; Mt Carmel Church; Mary Rigg Neighborhood Center; Second Helpings; Alliance for Northeast Unification; City of Indianapolis; United Way of Central Indiana; Indianapolis Public Library; IUPUI; Stop the Violence; La Plaza; Community Alliance of the Far Eastside; Fay Biccard Glick Neighborhood Center; Anthem, Inc.; and the Department of Homeland Security.
In addition, more than 300 people participated in community conversations about the implications of the findings for Indianapolis neighborhoods through SAVI Talks and Data & Drafts events.