Lakeshore News Tonight

Legacy, Knight Want Growth from Community Roots

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December 20, 2013 — By Denise Turner

Two local foundations hope they can help Northwest Indiana communities create improved neighborhoods one step at a time.  The Legacy Foundation’s new initiative intends, with the Knight Foundation, to impact the Region by addressing needs based on direction from people most affected.

Legacy Foundation Vice Chairman Robert Johnson III says his organization can build stronger, more vibrant communities through a new initiative called “Neighborhood Spotlight.”  The program features a collaborative approach to developing Northwest Indiana through public and private partnerships.

Legacy Foundation Interim President Leigh Morris  says, “The good thing about Neighborhood Spotlight is it will be individualized to the neighborhood, and you’ll bring together the needs that fit that neighborhood.”

Johnson says, ” What we want to do is shift to more of a transitional model where everything that we are granting, a large portion of what we are granting, is going to this vision to transform Lake County.”

Morris says, ” It’s the people most affected that will probably have some of the best ideas, and they are the ones who are going to have the greatest success of the state of the venture.”

Legacy Foundation says with the help of the Knight Foundation and other organizations it will select two Lake County neighborhoods each year for the program.  Knight Foundation member John Vinzant  says, “This new initiative will help communities develop a shared vision.”

Vinzant says, ” It’s going to allow us to focus very attentively on really motivated communities, communities that are able to come together and express a vision for themselves, and then we can focus our funding upon them.

Communities who partner with Legacy and the Knight Foundation should develop their messages, develop their goals and eventually grow and become successful, thriving neighborhoods.


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