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Eastern Star Church’s Main Campus (East 30th Street) neighborhood is blessed with strong assets such as schools, public safety facilities, a library, parks, and available public transportation, but it also has many significant challenges. Data about the area within a one-mile radius of the church paints a bleak picture of the long-term effects of poverty and broken families. High poverty rates and unemployment, low household income and home values, and virtually no access to financial services and healthy food options are all disturbing indicators of a neighborhood in economic decline.

Rather than trying to tackle the overwhelming needs of the entire 46218 area, ESC believes it can make the biggest impact closer to home, and will focus its initial efforts on the one-mile radius around its campus. This radius does extend slightly outside the eastern border of the 46218 area, though the data for the six census tracts that make up the focus area present an even starker picture of a neighborhood in decline:

  • Between 11% and 28% (depending on the census tract) of the nearly 6,000 housing units in this area are vacant.
  • Following the 2008 financial crisis, home real estate prices generally have begun to recover – but not for homeowners in this area. Homes in all six of these census tracks declined in value between 2010 and 2014.
  • Most disturbing, the cost burden for housing (the percent of a residents’ income that is spent on housing) is alarmingly high. Conventional public policy indicators suggest that no more than 30% of a household’s income should be spent on housing; the cost burden in this area varies from 42% to 61%.

The ROCK Initiative represents a long-term plan for comprehensive community development. ESC’s five-year expectations are simple but powerful. Click here to download the: