City of Gary

 

After decades of manufacturing job losses, some Hoosier cities with majority white populations are bouncing back. But Gary, which is mostly black, is still struggling to stabilize.

It’s where former steelworker Mike Mitchell grew up. He pulls up to an empty lot on a quiet side street and stops his car.

“That’s where we used to stay,” he says.

The house where he grew up was torn down years ago. Now, it’s just weeds and wood scraps.

Rachel Morello / Indiana Public Broadcasting

After a school referendum failed last week, Gary Community Schools is asking the state legislature for help as it struggles with ongoing financial problems.  

The school referendum was posed after years of financial struggle and failed by only 300 votes. The district sent a letter to staff Friday, saying it wouldn’t make payroll on time.

This is the district’s second referenda to counter decreasing enrollment in recent years. Both have now failed.

When students leave a district, state money goes with them, and Gary schools struggle to maintain staff and buildings.

Eric Bridiers / https://www.flickr.com/photos/us-mission/14721716270

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch says the justice department will rely on local police to help develop trust between minorities and the criminal justice system. Lynch spoke Monday at a law enforcement conference in Indianapolis.

The Justice Department is funding a nearly $5 million initiative aimed at improving relations between law enforcement and minority communities.

That initiative is starting in six pilot communities, including Gary, Indiana.