GARY | Positive community transformation begins at the grass-roots, neighborhood level.
It involves people of all ages voicing what’s needed, being heard, learning necessary skills to become self-sufficient and working to reach their fullest potential.
That’s the mission and the philosophy of the Human Development Action Center at 2337 Broadway, which officially opens Tuesday as a catalyst for change to deter violence and crime in Gary.
Some six years in the planning, the community action center’s work is based on a social formula called Holistic Human Development, or H2D.
“H2D is used to find better answers, not the answer, and to establish a solid direction for future generations and for a better tomorrow,” said Eddie Tarver, CEO of Out of Box Organizing Group, one of the four partners running the action center.
Tarver and the other principal partners signed their commitments to the community at a news conference Thursday at the action center. All of the partners have invested in the renovation of the building, which features a computer lab, meeting area and reception area. Volunteers will staff the center.
Out of Box will provide organizational and administrative services for the center, Tarver said.
Human Development CDC, a nonprofit organization that manages social programs and community outreach, will collect donations for various efforts; engage in development projects for housing, community initiatives and training/workshops; and facilitate other programs, said Latisha Harris, the nonprofit's president.
Lattice Group Holdings LLC is the primary investor in the center's for-profit ventures. Its holdings include Land Bank Builders Inc., a licensed, bonded and insured general contractors’ company, and CCR Services, a real estate service company. Michael Phelps, owner and president of Lattice Group, plans to launch Global Gary Network, a business networking tool and online community resource, Oct. 6.
The Gary Citizens’ Workers Union, headed by Pastor Noble E. Dennie Sr. of New Testament Church of Jesus Christ in Gary, will help those who need to improve their work skills or find employment. Ex-offenders who return to the community and those who have been unemployed for a number of years will be among those helped by programs sponsored at the action center.
The action center will be open from noon to 6 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. There will be entrepreneurial workshops from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesdays. Resume and interview skills workshops will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Fridays.
To register or volunteer at the center, call (219) 885-9688 between noon and 6 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.