LETTER: Time for city to tackle poverty

I applaud IBJ for highlighting the growing inequality in Indianapolis [Left Behind, May 11]. In the article, reporter Hayleigh Colombo observes that “people are living increasingly different lives—and experiencing increasingly different realities—in the same city.” While concentrated poverty isn’t a new reality in Indianapolis, the Indy Chamber bringing awareness to the business community that “exclusion is costly,” as Brookings Institution fellow Joe Parilla stated in the article, is an admirable and positive step.

Former Indianapolis Mayor Hudnut once declared that “you can’t be a suburb of nothing,” when asked why downtown Indianapolis was important. Indianapolis now receives frequent recognition of our improved downtown and city offerings. Our suburbs and downtown are thriving.

As the largest provider of affordable homeownership in greater Indianapolis, we believe that no one lives in dignity until everyone can live in dignity. Concentrated poverty in Indianapolis is holding back hundreds of thousands of families from accessing opportunities for upward mobility and will hold us back from continued growth for all.

On a typical Habitat build site, you see the possibilities of what we can do together when we work together. Faith leaders, business leaders, people of all ages volunteer alongside a family to help build or rehabilitate a home. Just as we stepped up our game and created a nationally recognized downtown and suburbs, it is now time for us all to step in and help the most vulnerable.

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Jim Morris
Greater Indy Habitat for Humanity

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