HUD Secretary’s Opportunity & Empowerment Award
ProMedica Ebeid Neighborhood Promise
Improving the Health of a Whole Neighborhood
For decades, the UpTown neighborhood of Toledo, Ohio, has struggled with high rates of homelessness, poverty, and safety issues. Despite more than 20 years of attempts to improve the neighborhood's quality of life, UpTown saw minimal progress with little strategic investment.
Thanks to a donation from the family of life-long philanthropist Russel J. Ebeid, ProMedica established the Ebeid Neighborhood Promise (ENP), a 10-year, $50 million investment initiative to improve the health and well-being of residents in the neighborhood.
By approaching community health from a holistic perspective, the program has drastically improved the quality of life for residents of UpTown.
ENP's success is recognized with the 2020 HUD Secretary's Opportunity and Empowerment Award.
Looking to authentically engage the community, ENP uses a creative placemaking strategy that depends heavily on the support of community residents, stakeholders, and partners. Seeking representation from each sector of UpTown's diverse population, the team hosted a variety of events to educate and engage as many community members as possible.
In addition to key support from ProMedica, ENP formed public-private partnerships with the City of Toledo, local and regional nonprofits, previously unassociated neighborhood groups, small businesses, and resident artists.
Armed with the community's input and support, a team led by the Toledo Design Collective created a multi-phase plan to activate the neighborhood while also creating opportunities for continued community collaboration.
One significant part of the project involved the transformation of an abandoned four-story building into a one-stop hub for residents that is part grocery store, part Financial Opportunity Center, and part job training center. The local grocery store, Market on the Green, provides access to affordable and healthy fresh food to resolve the area's food desert status, while also responding to a need for employment opportunities.
The team recruited UpTown locals to work in the nonprofit grocery store, which became the first step in the 12-month Ebeid Job Training Program. The program focuses on building soft skills while allowing local employees the flexibility to obtain a GED, gain literacy training, and address financial stability needs with a financial opportunity coach — all within one location.
Market on the Green expands food access even further by servicing senior high-rise buildings through a Mobile Market, online ordering, delivery, and curbside pickup. The Produce Perks program, the first offered by a grocery store in the state of Ohio, is also available to educate and encourage healthy and affordable purchases. In addition, the ENP initiative includes a public bike share, new pedestrian infrastructure, a plan for new housing, an enhanced preschool, a college promise program, and a long-term plan for implementation.
Ebeid Neighborhood Promise focuses on holistically improving the root causes of socioeconomic issues within the community, including education, financial stability, job access, and other social determinants of health. By improving financial literacy and access to job training, employment opportunities, and nutrition education, ENP empowers community members to tackle community-wide struggles together.
As guided by the 2013 Uptown Neighborhood Plan, EBD has achieved these measurable outcomes in just the past two years:
- 102 residents increased their credit score by an average of 46 points after participating in financial coaching
- 55 percent of Ebeid Job Training Program participants obtained employment, and 42 individuals obtained and maintained permanent employment through the ProMedica Goodwill Job Connections Center
- Market on the Green served 150,000 customers, remedying UpTown's initial status as a food desert
- Nine chronically homeless individuals have been stabilized into housing
- $ 5.4 million in impact investment capital has been deployed for housing and small business development projects
- $4.5 million in philanthropic dollars raised
- Nearly $1.4 million in net assets have been released for use in operations
- ProMedica's partnership with Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) has begun with a $45 million effort to improve economic opportunity and health outcomes in Toledo and surrounding areas
ProMedica's leadership demonstrates how innovative public-private partnerships can empower residents, increase resource support, create a sense of neighborhood pride, and bolster community health and well-being. ENP's strategic investment has ultimately lowered patient costs by ensuring the community's programs are impactful and its resources are utilized.