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Through community engagement and mobilization, NWI advances the development of healthy, vibrant communities by building capacity to identify needs and formulate strategies to create change.
The NorthWest Initiative (NWI) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization working to develop healthy communities in Lansing's "river island" -- the area bounded on the north, east, and south by the Grand River.
The NWI supports an ongoing developmental process with three main components: visioning, planning, and action. Phase I of this process began in May 2000, when approximately 150 community members gathered for the NorthWest Neighborhood Summit and identified eleven recommendations for strengthening and sustaining healthy communities in the area. In June, the NWI was launched with the formation of five Working Groups and a coordinating team. During the fall of 2000, Working Groups translated Summit recommendations into program proposals, which were compiled into an Action Plan in January 2001. Since then, partners have helped to develop a number of the programs proposed in the Action Plan.
Phase II of the visioning, planning, and action process was re-initiated in the fall of 2002 with Community Issues Surveys and Forums, which were used to find out how residents want to improve their community. Three Working Groups (1. Housing, 2. Commercial and Economic Development, and 3. Targeted Comprehensive Development) met in the first half of 2003 and created 2003 Action Plans based on survey and forum results. The NorthWest Initiative is working with residents and partners to advocate for the proposed policies and develop the proposed programs in each of the three 2003 Working Group Action Plans.
Phase III of the visioning, planning, and action process began in the summer of 2004 with door-to-door surveys of nearly 900 households in NorthWest Lansing. Programming will be adapted or created to address priorities identified through the surveys.
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