If you are interested in solving complex social problems in your neighborhood, community, workplace, or city –  we can help.

Polis Institute is a 501c3 not-for-profit corporation dedicated to designing solutions to social problems. Our design process focuses on people. Our goal is to help all those affected by a given social problem leverage their own hopes and assets to achieve positive change.

We are an intermediary organization that works simultaneously with leaders who want to make an impact in a defined area while also working with those being directly affected. This affords us a unique and valuable perspective. We serve as guide, facilitator, and evaluator.

In this rich work, Polis Institute proudly partners with world-class organizations like: Winter Park Health Foundation, Florida Hospital, the University of Virginia, Bags Inc., LIFT Orlando, and the Heart of Florida United Way to identify core problems, discover solutions, and create sustainable programs that work.

To set up a discovery session contact us at info@polisinstitute.org or 866-757-1334.

 

Opportunities:

POLIS is hiring! We are seeking to hire a Director of Community Development in the spring of 2017. Click here for more information.

 

Our Programs:

MO CO-OP: The Metro Orlando Cooperative for Thriving Neighborhoods, affectionately known as MO CO-OP (think “more cooperation”), is a civic initiative that exists to improve quality of life in the 100 distressed neighborhoods of Orange and Seminole Counties, Florida. The 100 neighborhoods were identified in a research project (2006-2009) on the culture of service in Central Florida that sparked the formation of the Polis Institute. MO CO-OP participants are actively working on place- and asset-based efforts in over half of the neighborhoods and meet monthly for encouragement and shared learning. Join us for lunch on a Third Wednesday. More info on our EVENTS page. Donate to MO CO-OP.

Dignity Serves: Dignity Serves is a faith-based program that has helped thousands of people learn the joy of dignified interdependence – the ideal context for meeting human need. Dignity Serves has become both a training curriculum and a community. The training is a six-lesson curriculum taught by trained facilitators that elucidates core principles of service and practical applications for every aspect of life. The community consists of those whose lives have been changed by the teaching and help one another live out its teachings which are grounded in a Christian perspective. Donate to Dignity Serves.

MVP Families: This program helps children who live near Camping World Stadium succeed academically and life by providing support to the whole family. We meet monthly on the first Monday of the month at Frontline Outreach and do regular family outings together like sporting events at the stadium and other cultural events around the city. Families set academic goals and work on building healthy relationships in the home. Families also set financial stability goals and health and wellness goals. Donate to MVP Families.

 

Our Partners:

LIFT/West Lakes: LIFT Orlando is an Orlando-based non-profit that exists to break the cycle of poverty. LIFT is a CO-OP member and is focused on partnering with the Communities of West Lakes – six historic neighborhoods west of downtown Orlando near the Citrus Bowl. LIFT and a newly formed resident council called West Lakes Partnership are working on initiatives to improve housing, economic opportunity, education, and wellness. POLIS has led the community engagement and evaluation aspects of this work since its inception in 2012 and currently guides resident support programming as well. Donate to West Lakes.

Healthy Central Florida/Eatonville: Healthy Central Florida, a partnership between the Winter Park Health Foundation and Florida Hospital, has been working with the residents of Eatonville for many years. In 2016, they have engaged POLIS to implement Leadership Eatonville – a program designed to position residents of this community, the first incorporated African American town in America, to lead their community into the future. Donate to Eatonville.

Kaley Square/Holden Heights: Kaley Square is also an Orlando-based non-profit and CO-OP member that POLIS has consulted with to engage the community of Holden Heights. Since early 2015, a comprehensive asset mapping and initiative design process is being conducted with the residents who are working on Activities for Youth, Beautification, and Safe Streets. Donate to Holden Heights

St. Luke’s United Methodist/East Winter Garden: POLIS has equipped the leaders of St. Luke’s with Dignity Serves and custom consultations to focus its outreach efforts on Asset-Based Community Development in East Winter Garden. This large suburban church is leading the way on how to partner across social differences with dignity and effectiveness. In the summer of 2015, initiatives are being designed with residents to address critical infrastructural issues in this important community.  Donate to East Winter Garden