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Englewood Christian Church and Englewood Community Development Corp.


For more than 20 years, the Englewood Christian Church on Indianapolis’ Near East Side has crusaded to provide Englewood residents with safe, affordable housing.

The mission has intensified as gentrification creeps into the neighborhood, threatening to push long-time locals, many of them people of color with low incomes, to even poorer areas with even fewer resources.

For evangelical pastor Mike Bowling, this gentrification is more than a matter of economics or social inequity. It’s an environmental justice issue that speaks to the heart of his church’s mission as a curator of the earth and its people, particularly in light of an ongoing tussle with a utility company over a recent solar power venture.

Bowling calls the mission “creation care.”

“We know polar ice caps are melting and oceans are rising, and we are concerned, but those are distant,” he said. “What we do know is that there is a disparity in quality of life for people in this particular neighborhood, and we also know this neighborhood is changing.”

Bowling’s congregation has found a way to address both sustainability and gentrification in the community through green housing initiatives. Bowling was a founding member and former director of the Englewood Community Development Corp (ECDC), which, has bought and built housing that Bowling hopes will help keep the locals local, despite rising costs triggered by an influx of more upscale properties.


Read the full article from Indiana Environmental Reporter here.

  
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Englewood Christian Church

Englewood Community Development Corp.