ELKHART — Residents in five Elkhart neighborhoods are coming together to make a difference in their community, and they have a 45-page plan to back them up.
The South Central Improvement Coalition has created a detailed plan to address quality of life issues like education, housing, the environment, safety and the economy. On Saturday, members of the coalition met at the Roosevelt Center to unveil a series of steps they hope to take over the next five years to propel that plan forward.
The coalition has divided into five action groups that plan to partner with local organizations and the city of Elkhart to tackle community-building projects. For example, the coalition’s housing and safety action group wants to reduce the number of vacant homes in South Central Elkhart, improve the appearance of 50 houses, teach residents about home ownership through Elkhart County’s tax sales and work with landlords to maintain and preserve rental properties.
Another action group wants to organize a tour of community farming projects, open urban gardens and teach people about local produce. Other plans include raising awareness about public services, developing a family literacy program and creating free job training opportunities.
The coalition is collaborating with LaCasa Inc. with financial support from the JPMorgan Chase Foundation and a partnership with the Indiana Association for Community Economic Development.