An initiative to encourage the relocation of new families has been launched in Greensburg, an Indiana city southeast of Indianapolis, which includes a unique incentive where free babysitting grandparents will be on hand to step in and help.
Tami and Dan Wenning are just two of the grandparent volunteers who have promised to assist the new families as they adjust and acclimate to the environment and community culture in their first year in the Indiana city. The elderly couple is part of the Grandparents on Demand, which has five sets of volunteers. However, if more families move to Greensburg, more free babysitting grandparents will be added to the program.
"We're the perfect place for somebody to raise a family," said Tami, 57, a long-time Greensburg resident. "I cannot begin to imagine moving away and being in a place where you don't have that network of people that, in a pinch, you've got somebody to rely on."
Make My Move Indiana City Program
The Indiana city program, dubbed MakeMyMove, also offers families $5,000 in cash gifts to cover the moving expenses. New families could also receive gift cards from the farmer's market, tickets to the local stage, as well as a year-long membership to the city's YMCA chapter.
The relocation package was designed to cater to young professionals who are permanently working from home due to the shift in workplaces brought about by the pandemic. The trend reflects a growing number of people looking to move to smaller neighborhoods where living costs are more affordable.
Two weeks after the launch, more than a thousand applications from remote workers across the U.S. were placed on the website. Evan Hock, the founder of Make My Move, said that the free babysitting grandparents' incentive had been such a big contributor to the deluge of interest.
Make My Move plans to evaluate the applications within 30 days. However, because of the generated interest, Hock and his team are finding ways to move in more people to diversify this Indiana city's economy. They also want a family who can stick to the community for the longer term.
Greensburg Mayor Joshua Marsh said the goal of the relocation program is to make families feel welcome like they have "been here a long time." The mayor said that he wants the newcomers to feel integrated, creating an "instant community" that will matter to their growth and success.
Where is Greensburg?
Nestled between Indianapolis and Cincinnati, Greensburg is home to 13,000 residents. This Indiana city is known as the "Tree City" because of its famous natural landmark at the Decatur County courthouse. Its downtown shopping center has about a dozen storefronts.
Meanwhile, neighboring communities of Greensburg have also set up different incentives to attract more residents. For instance, college towns like Bloomington and West Lafayette offer several co-working spaces and networking for new talents. Other towns also offer higher cash incentives, free after-school activities for the kids, or partial student loan payments.
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