Lilly Endowment awards $93 million to address poverty in Indianapolis

Lilly Endowment awards $93 million to address poverty in Indianapolis

The Lilly Endowment has announced grants totaling $93.6 million in support of collaborative strategies and programs focused on helping Indianapolis residents achieve lasting economic self-sufficiency.

Awarded through the Enhancing Opportunity in Indianapolis initiative — which the endowment launched in 2019 with a $50 million investment, subsequently doubling its commitment in response to the number of high-quality proposals it received and the health and economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on the community — grants ranging from $180,000 to more than $8 million will support the efforts of organizations to implement new or expand existing strategies, programs, and services focused on helping residents meet their basic needs and build better lives for themselves and their families. Projects receiving grants were developed with input from the young people and adults to be served, and many draw on practices that are already working locally or in other cities across the nation. Several are designed specifically to help individuals and families from communities experiencing disproportionately high rates of poverty.

Programs and wraparound support services to be provided include education and job training programs leading to credentials or a degree, peer mentoring and employment coaching, and increased access to early childhood education, mental health services, legal assistance, and stable and affordable housing. Several projects involve partnerships with local employers who will train, recruit, and hire people at wages that enable workers to build a strong financial future for themselves and their families.

"We are grateful for the tremendous response we received from the Indianapolis community during a time when organizations were called upon to significantly ramp up their existing programs and services in response to the acute needs brought on by the COVID-19 crisis," said Rob Smith, senior vice president for collaborative strategies at the endowment. "We believe that these projects have the potential to improve the lives of a significant number of Indianapolis residents facing the challenges of poverty and financial insecurity."

For a complete list of grantees, see the Lilly Endowment website.