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Enhancing Opportunity in Indianapolis

The Brookings Institution suggests that it is a job that pays $18 per hour. Recently, Lilly Endowment took bold action to catalyze good jobs for the 2 in 10 Indianapolis residents struggling in poverty: a $93.6 million initiative to defeat poverty through enterprise. Included in the list of grantees is Sagamore’s operating partnership with Purposeful Design.

Lilly Endowment

The Endowment launched Enhancing Opportunity in 2019,  inviting organizations to propose ideas for new projects or how to strengthen existing efforts that could:

  • Help individuals seek and acquire good jobs (paying at least $18 an hour with healthcare benefits) or promising jobs.
  • Address barriers to economic prosperity that disproportionately affect Black and Latino residents.
  • Help children and youth be prepared for in-demand jobs and success in higher education.
  • Focus on the needs of residents in high-poverty neighborhoods.
  • Help residents who face challenges in addition to poverty – youth aging out of foster care, individuals with disabilities, members of immigrant communities with language barriers and individuals who are reentering their communities after incarceration.
Purposeful Design

Purposeful Design’s mission is to build better lives while building custom furniture.  Since 2013, PD has trained employed and mentored individuals through its wood-working and metal fabrication shop located on the near east side. The faith-based program works with high school students and adults who face challenges that include poverty, homelessness, addiction and incarceration. Through the Lilly Endowment grant, Purposeful Design will strengthen its outreach to Indianapolis high schools and increase comprehensive support services to clients. It will collaborate with faith-based organizations, local employers and a higher education partner.