Mozingo Place: An anchor for positive change.

mont-229x300Ten years ago, the Mozingo Building was neglected, crumbling, and had a faltering foundation. Bricks were literally falling out of the walls. It stood as a sad reminder of what had once been a spirited, vibrant neighborhood.

But that all changed in 2002. That’s when Frank Hagaman, founder and former president of Partners in Housing Development Corporation, contacted LISC for help in transforming Mozingo into Mozingo Place—an affordable housing community focused on helping people with special needs.

“People need the consistency and continuity of knowing they can live in a place that’s decent, safe, clean, and affordable,” said Hagaman. “I feel that’s especially important for people with special needs. That’s why we decided to take Mozingo Place one step further as an affordable housing community and design it so that it would benefit those who needed it the most.”

After a three-million dollar renovation, Mozingo Place opened its doors. And the new residents weren’t just people with special needs. Nearly all of them had experienced homelessness at some point in their lives. Now they finally had a permanent place to call home.

Mozingo’s success as an affordable housing/supportive services community hasn’t gone unnoticed. The project was recognized by the National Building Museum in Washington D.C. as one of the 15 best examples of affordable housing throughout the United States. It was an unexpected and well-deserved honor affirming all of the hard work by Mozingo’s supporters at Partners in Housing and LISC.

Frank Hagaman is quick to point out that Mozingo’s success largely hinged on LISC’s involvement with the project.

“When we initially approached LISC about the Mozingo Project, they were extremely supportive,” said Hagaman. “Initially, they helped by involving us with their recoverable grants program, giving us much-needed capital to get the ball rolling with Mozingo. The partnership went so well that LISC has been involved with nearly all of the Partners in Housing projects ever since.”

Since Mozingo Place opened in 2002, the 10th Street corridor on Indianapolis’s Near Eastside has undergone major positive transformation. And Mozingo Place has played a significant role as an important anchor for the up-and-coming neighborhood. It’s a constant reminder of what can happen when a community fights for positive change—and refuses to give up.