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An example of new thinking

February 5, 2005 25th Ward 1 Comment

From the Rehabber’s Club list I discovered an exciting housing development corporation in Indianapolis. The group known as Southeast Neighborhood Development, Inc. or SEND So what do I find exciting?

The SEND group actually seems to do something – investing $26 million in their service area since 1991. That is some serious cash. Their website is well organized and includes some great before and after renovation pictures. They include a listing of business locations for sale and for lease. Homes for sale are also included.

But the best part is they partner with other organizations in their community, including local churches, to achieve their stated goals. It appears they are not dependent upon a single source for the bulk of their budget – local city funding is only a part of their budget.

The big lesson here is sometimes it is wise to step back and take a look at our current programs, organizations, and conventional thinking. By doing so we can determine if our current methods are the best way of solving the problem at hand. Perhaps they were 10, 15 or 20 years ago but that doesn’t mean it is still how it should be done.

Looking at organizations in other cities is a great way of gaining a new perspective outside our South St. Louis business as usual thinking. I’m a firm believer in determining the root of problems, brainstorming possible solutions, selecting the best solution and then implementing that solution.

I’m not a fan of doing something simply because that is the way it has always been done, because a group doesn’t want to offend an elected official by asking for change or just skating along with the status quo. We have the potential to be a great urban neighborhood if we put our heads together and work toward a common goal. Fresh thinking, not more of the same, will get us where we are going.

– Steve


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