On April 12, 2016, Delta Institute joined partners in Gary, IN to celebrate the selection of its project, Steel City Salvage, as a Knight Cities Challenge winner.
The competitive Challenge attracted more that 4,500 ideas from the Knight Foundation’s 26 target communities, and yesterday they announced funding for 37 ideas from 19 communities. Delta Institute was awarded $385,000 to establish Steel City Salvage as a reuse facility that will reclaim building materials from vacant homes in Gary, IN to contribute to the economic growth of the region.
This project builds on Delta’s two years of work in partnership with the City of Gary and University of Chicago Harris School to incorporate deconstruction into Gary’s blight remediation efforts.
“The confluence of vacant homes and high unemployment in Gary requires an innovative and collaborative solution,” said Delta Institute CEO Bill Schleizer. “Our big idea is that by reconceiving of Gary’s blighted homes as assets rather than liabilities to be demolished, we can create economic opportunity through reclamation and reuse of building materials.”
“One of the things we know about Gary is that there are beautiful homes that have fallen into disrepair and cannot be re-purposed, but the material in those homes can certainly be recycled for another purpose,” said Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson in her pre-recorded remarks. “So not only is this project greener, but it also provides new opportunity for residents to be employed and for yet another business in the city of Gary.”
Partners from the Legacy Foundation and the Gary Department of Planning and Redevelopment also offered remarks.