Pontiac is at the heart of a prosperous county and region. Twenty-six miles directly north of Detroit, 36 miles south of Flint and the seat of Oakland County, the city is home to 59,000 residents within its 20 square miles. A resilient and impassioned community, it has a network of grassroots organizations, advocacy groups, business owners, and nonprofits who are all together working to improve the quality of life for residents and change regional perceptions about the city.
Much of this change is driven or supported by an influx of renewed energy and momentum. Residents, civic leaders, and community advocates bring new hope, new skills, and partnerships that are sparking positive change in the city. Those having the most impact include long-standing organizations that have worked for decades to support the needs of residents, as well as new and old nonprofits, grassroots advocates, faith-based organizations, established and emerging businesses, and governmental agencies who are collaborating to improve quality of life in Pontiac.
In recognition of this momentum and of the need for more and continued change, nine philanthropic partners have come together to learn, share, and fund solutions that support the community of Pontiac. In 2020, the first step taken by the funders was to launch a collective impact initiative that will ensure a collaborative and community-driven approach to the future. This effort has included the regular convening of a cross-section of 40 leaders from Pontiac over the last year, and will grow community-wide in the years ahead.
This report documents the first year of our collective work.