Mayor Joe Hogsett and the Indianapolis Foundation Announce Fifth Round of Elevation Grant Recipients

INDIANAPOLIS, April 3, 2024 – Today, Mayor Joe Hogsett, the Indianapolis Foundation, and the Indianapolis City-County Council announced the fifth round of grantees receiving funding through the Elevation Grant Program. Twenty-seven grants, totaling more than $5.1 million, will be distributed to Indianapolis organizations. The funding supports local, grassroots nonprofits working to address root causes of violent crime and comes as part of Mayor Hogsett’s three-year, $150 million comprehensive violence reduction strategy.

“We know that safety comes, in part, from the prevention and prosecution of crime. But it extends equally from the active promotion of resilient neighborhoods,” said Mayor Hogsett. “The entire $5 million invested in the awardees today will address the root causes of crime and violence in our neighborhoods including housing, employment, educational attainment, and social mobility.”

“The Indianapolis Foundation has approached our role as administrator of the Elevation grant program through a lens of leading with love and hope. We are proud to partner with the City to support Elevation grantees who are deeply rooted in their communities and intentionally working to create a more equitable Indianapolis,” said Lorenzo Esters, president, the Indianapolis Foundation.

The Elevation Grant Program is a partnership between the City of Indianapolis and the Indianapolis Foundation. Through six rounds of funding granted over three years, the program is investing $45 million in Indianapolis neighborhoods to address the root causes of violent crime through a comprehensive approach, including neighborhood empowerment and community building. Round five grants prioritized organizations with immediate intentionality around violence reduction using evidence-based programming that elevates the assets, aspirations, hope, and improves the safety of neighborhoods impacted by violence.

Round five grantees were announced at a news conference today at A Better Way Outreach, Inc., a new grantee of the program. Founded in 2018 by Indianapolis native Keith Richardson, A Better Way Outreach will utilize Elevation Grant funds to provide residents suffering from substance use disorders with an enhanced quality of life through counseling, mediation and individualized medical plans.

“I saw the negative effects of drugs and alcohol on my neighborhood growing up. My mom always said, ‘There has to be a better way,’ which inspired me to open ‘A Better Way Outreach’,” said Richardson. “Battling addiction is not a one-day fix. When someone comes to us for help, we say ‘today is the day, we start today.’”

Brookside Community Development Corporation, a two-time Elevation grantee, also participated in the news conference. Brookside Community Development Corporation is creating opportunities of renewal and transformation for people residing in the Brookside neighborhood. With round two Elevation funding, Brookside expanded its programming and hired a mental health specialist. Round five Elevation Grant funding will support an initiative for justice-involved individuals to successfully reintegrate into society.

“The Elevation grant is a critical source of funding for our organization, allowing us to provide much-needed services to the community,” said Robin Duncan, Re-Entry Coordinator, Brookside Community Development Corporation.

Since 2022, 116 nonprofits have received a total of $31,502,508 in grants. Nonprofits interested in applying for the sixth and final round of the current Elevation Grant Program should visit The application to apply opens May 3 and closes June 14.

Other Round Five Elevation Grantees Include: 

Centers for Wellness for Urban Women Inc. – Early Connection
Early Connection is a culturally responsive, comprehensive program aimed at enhancing the health and well-being of young women ages 18-24, with a focus on providing accessible health care, mental health services, necessities and tailored programming to address unique needs of this demographic including mental health and body image concerns, and relationship dynamics. Elevation Grant funding will allow the organization to launch a peer support program that helps young women develop facilitation, community engagement and mindfulness skills and work with peers to reduce the impact of trauma from both intimate and community-level violence.

Mended Arrows Academy of Barbering, Inc. 
Mended Arrows is a barber college with a mission to provide barbering education to people who are at-risk so that they may become self-sufficient and role models. The Elevation Grant will fund the Mended Arrows T(HAIR)pay Cuts Mentoring Program for at-risk youth and young adults between the ages of 18-35, specifically Black/Latinx males. The program will provide supportive services, mentorship, and mental health support through free haircut services with healing-centered barbers and mental health advocates.

New Beginning Church, Inc. 
New Beginnings Church, located on the East Side, will use Elevation Grant funding to expand its “Yes, I Can” Recidivism Reduction Program to include education, employment, and social support services for justice-involved caregivers and family members. “Yes, I Can” is an intergenerational initiative designed to help low-income, predominantly African American families from the Haughville neighborhood make progress toward lasting economic self-sufficiency.

SLED Corporation
SLED aims to address the wellbeing and diverse needs of 25-to-35-year-old adults within minority communities by offering programs covering mental health, substance use disorder treatment, life skills development, leadership, and resiliency. Elevation Grant funding will provide tailored support to break the cycle of criminal behavior through supportive services.

Announced in fall of 2021, Mayor Hogsett’s $150 million comprehensive violence reduction strategy emphasizes law enforcement investments as well as addresses root causes of violence through $45 million for grassroots violence prevention organizations, 50 peacemakers to engage with those at risk of becoming perpetrators or victims of gun violence through Indy Peace, $30 million for mental health resources, and more. Indianapolis experienced a total 31% reduction in criminal homicides and a 20% reduction in non-fatal shootings over the first two years of the strategy’s implementation.

The Indianapolis Foundation, founded in 1916, is Indiana’s oldest and largest community foundation. The Indianapolis Foundation aims to mobilize people, ideas and investments to make this a community where all individuals have equitable opportunity to reach their full potential—no matter place, race or identity. It awards approximately $9 million annually from its endowment to support current and future community needs in Indianapolis and Marion County. The Foundation is governed by a board of six publicly appointed directors. Learn more about The Indianapolis Foundation.

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Recipients of the Elevation Grant Program: Round Five

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