Steel City Salvage: Deconstruction and Economic Opportunity in Gary

Gary, Indiana, is a resilient community. With the rise and ebb of Midwestern industry, in tandem with population rise and decline, Gary has lived and evolved—often with the region and nation watching.

Delta Institute has worked within Gary for years—decades even—with dozens of local community partners who are essential to our collaborative efforts’ success. Many of our supporters are familiar with Delta’s efforts to create Steel City Salvage, our deconstruction project that saves reclaimed materials from vacant buildings going to landfill—instead selling them to spur economic development within the City of Gary. Specifically, Delta has worked to establish a sustainable marketplace for these salvaged items–which includes everything from old growth lumber to wall sconces to church pews.

We are committed to ensuring that materials from Gary benefit Gary, and that operations remain within the City to provide another route for ongoing economic development. 

Vacant Gary Home
Vacant Gary Property Primed for Deconstruction
Exterior of the City Church of Gary
Reclaimed Old Growth Lumber
Shoppers at the Steel City Salvage Pop-Up Market in 2017
Shoppers at the Steel City Salvage Pop-Up Market in 2017
Coasters made from Reclaimed Wood

After years of strategy, a successful pop-up market, and community engagement efforts, Delta is looking for a permanent “home” for Steel City Salvage to benefit Gary residents for years to come. This long-term vision led us to the Sojourner Truth House for our partnership and collaboration on Steel City Boxtown—which will combine creative use of space with an innovative business incubator concept to directly benefit both Sojourner Truth House clients and the broader community of Gary.

Specifically, this project will provide job development training for clients while offering economic development resulting from reused and salvaged materials from Gary Indiana vacant structures—directly tying together both economic and environmental positive impacts. Delta Institute’s partnership with Sojourner Truth House offers an “anchor” shop for Steel City Boxtown through Steel City Salvage, a Delta Institute-led initiative that salvages building materials from vacant homes and business sites throughout Gary. Sojourner Truth House clients will manage and operate the resale enterprise of this initiative while gaining vital job skills and income.

Our vision of a thriving, vibrant Gary remains unchanged, and we are excited for the future of Steel City Salvage and the unlocked potential of a robust reclaimed marketplace that provides economic diversification, workforce development, and waste reduction for the City’s residents.

 

   Our Impact Thus Far:

      13 Deconstructed Buildings, resulting in reclaimed materials for sale at Steel City Salvage

      $300,000 Valuation of Leveraged Public Funds

      175 Local Residents/Organizations Engaged, including five Gary-based businesses

 

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