Our People, Their Stories: Liz Sheldon, IndyEast Promise Zone VISTA

Liz Sheldon is the Promise Zone’s Community and Neighborhood Development Coordinator VISTA. As an Indianapolis native, Liz is no stranger to the Eastside, and accepting the opportunity to spend her service year in the IEPZ was a no-brainer. “I decided to become a VISTA because I knew I wanted to work in public service, and a family friend recommended working for the Promise Zone.” The Promise Zone’s stellar reputation for its work in the community solidified her decision to join.

During her time in the Promise Zone, Liz has worked to create a network of resources between community partners and residents. “I think it’s important for the community to find the resources they need. Often, the resources are out there, people just don’t know how and where to find them.”

Her most notable project has been working with the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA) to extend resources to homeowning or renting families on the Near Eastside. The IHCDA was recently awarded grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to address health and safety issues including radon, mold, lead, electrical issues, and accessibility, among a variety of other healthy home interventions. Liz works with the IHCDA to find homeowners and renters who might qualify for this program. “Helping connect people with these resources has been the most rewarding part of my time here so far. It feels good to know I’m helping people find the resources they need to live healthier and happier lives”.

While her VISTA journey hasn’t been without its challenges, Liz emphasizes how instrumental her team has been in her success. “Being able to collaborate with my fellow VISTAs has made all the difference for me. We each bring unique skills and perspectives to the table and often lean on each other for support.”

Luckily, Liz has decided to extend her service term for another year. She explains, “I want to be here to see the end of the Promise Zone designation to see how we will be able to take the success of the Promise Zone and transfer that into the Economic Mobility District.”

Liz thanks the Promise Zone, AmeriCorps, and JBNC for what she’s learned in her role so far. This role has allowed her to network, learn about diverse programs, and witness firsthand the power of community-driven initiatives. “My time in the AmeriCorps has given me the skills, knowledge, and commitment to my community, which has inspired me to continue my journey in public service.”

Liz’s time here has been a valuable part of the Promise Zone’s impact on the community, and we are excited to see the effects of her efforts as she continues her time here.