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HOPE Initiative taking the pulse Thursday

By TRAVIS WEIK - tweik@thecouriertimes.com

Twice a year, the HOPE Initiative asks non-profit groups and elected officials to break bread together.

The “Taking the Pulse” dinner at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 10 will give community organizations a chance to share their joys and concerns from the previous six months.

By the end of the evening, everyone involved should have a better understanding of the combined efforts happening throughout the community to help the people living here.

The semi-annual dinner also provides an opportunity for volunteers and politicians to seek out ways they can help each other help the community and surrounding areas. 

Participants can learn what Believe and Achieve Mentoring (BAM) is up to and where the new Habitat for Humanity home is being built.

Church groups, civic clubs, parks boards and elected council members are invited to share information about upcoming programs and important dates.

The “Taking the Pulse” dinner starts at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in the HOPE Building, 1426 Broad St., New Castle.

Stellar update

Members of the HOPE Initiative and many other local community groups helped create an overarching plan this summer for Henry County, Knightstown and New Castle.

Together, those communities are known as the Safe & Welcome region.

The regional development plan is part of the Stellar Communities competition. Winning the “Stellar” designation could provide state funding for projects in all corners of the county.

The final plan was submitted to the state’s Stellar Committee Sept. 20.

The next step requires Knightstown, New Castle and Henry County to sign interlocal agreements and get those submitted to the state by Nov. 1.

The agreements will outline how the Safe & Welcome region will prioritize projects mentioned in the regional plan. The agreements will also include ways to resolve any issues that come up while putting the plan into action.

Members of the Safe & Welcome regions have to outline a process to ensure timely and complete reporting of Stellar projects.

The purpose of the interlocal agreements is also to put on paper how the three communities will continue to work in cooperation after the Stellar money is spent in four-or-five years.

Local reps will give a final presentation about Safe & Welcome at 10 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 14 in Indianapolis.

The state’s Stellar Committee will announce the 2019 Stellar Community during a ceremony Thursday, Dec. 5.