East Adrian project aims to bolster neighborhood

As 2022 winds up, the first year of an investment to help a struggling Adrian neighborhood has seen the groundwork laid to tackle a variety of its residents’  needs, from financial stability to access to health care.

The project: Some $20 million will be pumped into east Adrian over the next 10 years, money dedicated to addressing disparities. The ProMedica Adrian Ebeid Neighborhood Promise, a cooperative undertaking of ProMedica, the Lenawee Community Foundation and the All About Adrian Resident Coalition, was unveiled last February. This represents one of the nation’s largest place-based investments made in a rural community, according to the Toledo, Ohio-based nonprofit ProMedica.

Residents and stakeholders participated in planning sessions in May and June , working toward identifying key priorities and strategies as areas of focus.

Then in October, ProMedica and the Adrian Dominican Sisters announced the congregation’s $1.5 million “Growing Up Resilient” initiative, investing in youth and their families. ProMedica will serve as the fiscal manager of that new investment, building upon the pre-existing ProMedica Adrian Ebeid Neighborhood Promise.

“We made this investment as part of a congregational commitment to help build resilient communities with local partners that have the capacity to maximize impact in places where our Sisters have had a long-term engagement,” says Patricia Siemen, OP, Prioress of the congregation. “Our Sisters have ministered in the Adrian community since 1879 and it is our hope that this investment, managed by ProMedica and made in collaboration with our other community partners – Boys & Girls Club of Lenawee and All About Adrian Resident Coalition – will enrich the lives of our neighbors on the east side.”

The need is clear: Studies have shown that access to quality health care is only a fraction of what it takes to stay healthy. In fact, more than half of the factors that determine one’s health are based on the zip-code in which an individual is born, lives, learns, works, plays, and prays. 

So, according to the project proposal, to implement the Adrian Ebeid Neighborhood Promise will require building a neighborhood infrastructure and capacity to increase access to education, employment opportunities, quality health care, and community-based resources for Lenawee County residents.

The various needs in east Adrian have been documented. Census data and local assessments show:

— Of the nearly 11,000 residents in 7,807 households of east Adrian, nearly half live in rental properties and 17 percent are severely cost-burdened.
 — An average of 28.1 percent of individuals residing in the core market are living at or below the federal poverty threshold.
— 18 percent of those adults do not have health insurance (the rate increases to 38 percent when income is less than $25,000), and score dismally low in housing and economic stability, education, and health and well-being indices.

The plan: ProMedica has partnered with the All About Adrian Resident Coalition to work with residents throughout the process to ensure they are responding to current and emerging needs.

As the Adrian Ebeid Neighborhood Promise moves from planning to implementation,
“we expect to provide financial coaching, health screenings and education, literacy programming, and to provide workshops promoting health and well-being in the neighborhood,” says Frank Nagle, director of Community Impact, Michigan, ProMedica. “Parallel to those efforts, our team will continue building partnerships with programs and services that address disparities and inequities related to health, jobs and finances, education and training and housing in east Adrian.”

In addition, a new scholarship program creates expanded opportunities for senior students and graduates of high schools in Southeast Michigan to obtain a two-year associate’s degree as a registered nurse. Students who are awarded an ENP Diversity in Nursing Scholarship will be required to sign a commitment to work as a registered nurse at a ProMedica facility for 36 months following registered nursing program graduation and board certification.

Coming up next: A fundraising campaign in 2023 will continue raising and reinvesting $20 million over 10 years toward placemaking and programmatic developments in east Adrian. Also, efforts that will be supported by the Adrian Dominican Sisters’ new investment include: 

• Developing life skills for youth through the social and emotional learning programs housed at the Boys & Girls Club of Lenawee.

• Connecting youth and their families with community services through a part-time community and family liaison who will work with local mentors to identify additional services needed.

• Expanding literacy and family education programs in east Adrian. The All About Adrian Resident Coalition, local public schools, and other organizations will collaborate on the development of programs aimed at continuing and expanding literacy activities.

• Creating an Adrian Ebeid Technology Center in east Adrian that will house the Adrian Dominican Sisters Youth Learning Center and computer lab. The center will provide learning opportunities for youth in English language skills, GED preparation and computer skills.

What people are saying: DeAngelo Boone, founder of The All About Adrian Resident Coalition, says: “Creating a better quality of life for a community only happens when everyone is welcomed to the table. When we all are heard and everyone's hands are to the plow does collective effort create a resilient impact.”

Jennifer Hunter, executive director of campus services at the Adrian Dominican Motherhouse and co-chair of the Adrian Resilient Communities Committee, says: “I have no doubt that the Adrian Dominican Sisters’ partnerships and commitment to building resilient communities will enhance the lives of our youth, their families, and our Adrian community, both today and well into the future.”

“This investment is an excellent example of anchor institutions aligning their missions to address health disparities and inequities within the community,” says Frank Nagle, director of community impact in Michigan for ProMedica. “We greatly appreciate the Adrian Dominican Sisters Resilient Community Investment to the ProMedica Adrian Ebeid Neighborhood Promise.”

ProMedica Ebeid Neighborhood Promise and ProMedica Ebeid Center are named after philanthropist Russell J. Ebeid, whose works focused on southeast Michigan and Toledo, Ohio.
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Rosemary Parker has worked as a writer and editor for more than 40 years.