We build a lot more than affordable housing!

The history of Project Neighbors follows a long list of needs discovered and opportunities taken. Our broadly written mission, To strengthen he Valparaiso community by addressing issues of race, class and poverty, we strive to create healthy families and neighborhoods, where diversity of of all kinds is welcomed and cherished, has allowed Project Neighbors to engage in a wide rage of actions: housing, healthcare, daycare, public discourse, education, economic development and human relations.

Housing For All

The historical centerpiece of our efforts for more than 50 years.

Achieving Equity

Working to educate ourselves and our neighbors to transcend our cultural heritage of bias.

Education

Providing alternative  pathways in high school and adult education.

Public Discourse

Broadcasting community radio and providing a forum for all.

Healthcare

Delivering healthcare to the uninsured and under-insured in our community. 

Early Childhood Education

Recognized as the leader in education-oriented day care.

Beyond Our Borders

Expanding our volunteer-driven model of service across the globe.

Community Organizing

Offering leadership to create power among the powerless.

Learn more about the non-profit organizations we helped create
and the comunity partners with which we work.

Meet our Amazing Team!

 

Paul Schreiner

Paul Schreiner

Executive Director

Father of four, writer, musician, tradesman, co-founder of Front Porch Music and former high school teacher.

Greg Jones

Greg Jones

Community Organizer

Professor of Theology at Valparaiso University, founder of Union Community Church, host of Morning BLACK on WVLP, and officer of the Northwest Indiana African American Alliance.

Kate Gong

Kate Gong

Administrator

Mother of two boys, breast cancer survivor, VU law school graduate, 17 years of experience working in Porter County non-profit organizations.

Ivan Bodensteiner

Ivan Bodensteiner

Board President

Attorney (primarily civil rights), former law school professor & dean, co-author of four-volume civil rights treatise, husband & father.

Loie Reiner

Loie Reiner

Co-Founder & Board Member

Resident of Valparaiso for more than 70 years; co-founder of Project Neighbors and its first iteration in 1969; community connector; honorary doctorate from and faculty member of Valparaiso University; former advocate for prisoners and their families.

Tina Allen-Abulhassan

Tina Allen-Abulhassan

Board Member

Mother of three; Ivy Tech supplemental instructor; online English as a Second Language instructor; Northwest Indiana African American Alliance officer; Master’s Degree – Valparaiso University.

Pat Terrell

Pat Terrell

Board Treasurer & Secretary

Retired national health care consultant and former Deputy Chief of Cook County Health and Hospitals (Chicago); Board member of HealthLinc; participant in Project Neighbors since 1969; doting grandmother.

Byron Martin

Byron Martin

Board Member

Assistant Vice Provost for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Carnegie Mellon University; Associate with the Consortium for Inclusion & Equity and consults with universities, faith institutions, and organizations nationally and internationally in diversity, equity, & inclusion.

Jan Jones

Jan Jones

Board Member

Porter County resident since 2003; married with two grown children and three grandchildren; animal lover with two dogs and a cat; marginally successful (but determined) vegetable gardener; aspiring whole grain sourdough baker; working toward reducing carbon footprint.

Rebecca Reiner

Rebecca Reiner

Board Member

Believer in transformative power of education; founder and Executive Director of Neighbors’ Educational Opportunities (NEO); member of Urban League of NWI and Portage Rotary; grateful part of a remarkable family, including two incredible daughters.

Richard Sévère

Richard Sévère

Board Member

Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of English at Valparaiso University; musician; amateur athlete.

Larry Baas

Larry Baas

Board Member

Married to Ann Baas; two adult children and three grandchildren; director of the Community Research and Services Center and Senior Research Professor at Valparaiso University; co-host of “Conversations” and “ABC (Agenda for a Better Community) at Noon” on WVLP.

George Terrell

George Terrell

Board Member

Past president of Project Neighbors; co-founder of Caminos de Agua; board member of Northwest Indiana African American Alliance and Asset Based Community Development Institute; co-founder of Allies Against Racism.

Conrad Angon

Conrad Angon

Board Member

Bethel University graduate; social worker; Latino, Valparaiso resident since 2009; music fanatic; avid movie watcher and pop culture enthusiast.

Ed Senne

Ed Senne

Board Member

Father of two; Associate Professor of Theology at VU  for 33 years; founding Executive Director of Hilltop Neighborhood House and Hilltop Health Center (now HealthLinc) from 1995-1998.

Marge Leoschke

Marge Leoschke

Board Member

Retired, former adjunct assistant professor of home economics at Valparaiso University; former Director of evening classes at Portage Adult Education; art museum docent; founding member of  VBA (precursor to Project Neighbors).

Matthew Puffer

Matthew Puffer

Board Member

Father of three, Professor of Humanities and Ethics at Valparaiso University; former engineer, Young Life staff, and high school teacher.

Jeff Lewis

Jeff Lewis

Board Member

Former board president; Vice President of Shive-Hattery; active in community service and local government; father of three; Ball State University – Bachelor of Architecture and Bachelor of Environmental Design.

Liz Wuerffel

Liz Wuerffel

Board Vice President

Associate Professor of Communication and Visual Arts at Valparaiso University; co-director of the Welcome Project; engaged in civic and community life; soccer player and sourdough bread baker.

Homes Built/Renovated

Children in daycare

Patients cared for

Frequently Asked Questions:

How can I qualify for affordable housing?

If you think you can qualify, you probably can.  But realize that we are a very small organization building a couple living units per year and families rarely move out, so availability is very limited. When available we offer two and three bedroom houses for families and small studio apartments for single women.  We are working on a project for single men, but it is still on the drawing board. To confirm you qualify, simply contact Project Neighbors and fill out a housing application

How can I help Project Neighbors?

There are several ways. Establish contact with us to receive our frequent email “updates” and less frequent newsletter. Become educated on the issues facing marginalized people in our community and raise your voice when given the opportunity. Volunteer on a building project! No one is turned away on work days even if you think you have no skills.  Finally, send a contribution to sustain our 50-year-long, everyday efforts

Can my church or organization partner with Project Neighbors?

Absolutely! We do very little without partners; in fact, we believe in the idea of organizational partnerships because it is smart. You, representing your church or business or club, already are organized and have a collection of individuals who might want to help. In the past we have worked with lots of churches, insurance companies, other not-for-profits, construction companies and even a book club.

Let’s keep in touch!