In late 2015, the Old Southside Neighborhood Association Board of Directors began serious discussions with City-County Councillor Jeff Miller, State Representative Justin Moed, & Lisa Laflin, Mayor’s Neighborhood Advocate, about the abandoned & vacant houses & commercial properties in the neighborhood. Six individuals from the neighborhood worked over a period of seven months to plan the Property Showcase. Among the invitees to the showcase included developers, investors & potential homeowners. The Property Showcase, held June 25, 2016, welcomed more than 130 people — far exceeding expectations — & highlighted the many opportunities for living, working & commercial growth in the Old Southside. Neighborhood stakeholders were on hand to talk with visitors about the various assets in the neighborhood.
Since the Property Showcase, there has been a noticeable increase in renovations. At least ten houses have been demolished & an equal amount sold. Two hotels & three apartments buildings are in the planning stages & HGTV’s “Two Chicks & a Hammer” have purchased two houses on Meridian Street.
Southeast Neighborhood Development (SEND) has gathered a diverse group of neighborhoods & ideas to assemble the Twin Aire Neighborhood Coalition. The goal for this ongoing project is to provide education & skills to better enable the neighbors to get together, communicate, learn, & lay out THEIR vision for the future of THEIR community. This coalition developed the Twin Aire Vision Plan. This plan is a template for how the residents would like to see their neighborhood develop. The process involved several neighborhoods, partners, & funders, including five neighborhood associations, Citizens Energy, Kroger, Southeast Community Services, & SEND. The results of this project include bringing much needed attention to this area by playing a part in securing a Promise Zone designation, a federal Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant, commercial improvements, community development, the Great Places 2020 designation, & the area’s selection as a site for the Law & Justice Center, which will bring more than $500 million in investment to an area that less than three years ago was unknown to most people in Indianapolis.
Ransom Place Park, completed as a gateway along the Cultural Trail to expose the public to the civic value of the area’s African-American heritage, provides a place for community events. In an effort to stem the loss of this critical cultural knowledge, Ransom Place Neighborhood Association was awarded a greenspace grant from Keep Indianapolis Beautiful & Indianapolis Power & Light to transform a small, triangular grassy lot it owned into an outdoor classroom for all of Indianapolis. Residents met over a period of six months to craft an appropriate design. Residents agreed that historic images of area residents & structures was the best way to engage the public. The park features a small raised deck, seating for events & a decorative rosetta of commemorative bricks. A dedication ceremony was held on June 17, 2016.
The Near Eastside ReEntry Expo brought together neighbors, service providers, business owners, city representatives, & community leaders from Indianapolis’ eastside to celebrate neighbors who have returned from being incarcerated. The Expo’s goal was to bridge relationships between those who are impacted by incarceration & those who are not, & to begin to build a network of relationships within a supportive community that promotes successful reentry.
The 2016 ReEntry Expo took place on April 23 & hosted about 100 attendees. It included community dialogues, a service provider fair, free haircuts for reentering neighbors, a catered dinner, live entertainment & family friendly activities.
No BOBS’ mission is to reduce violence. They aim to prevent violence, to save lives, to reduce prison populations & recidivism, to offer alternatives to violence, & to work with other like-minded organizations. To make neighborhoods safer, No BOBS has a crime fighting program that presents innovative ways to change minds through the community’s assistance & No BOBS’ presence, education, & more.
Within the boundaries of Riverside Park to Boulevard Place & Watkins Park to Golden Hill Park, No BOBS created the “Feed A Family for A Month Program,” where they supply weeks’ worth of food for families whose breadwinner has been slain, as well as the “Food for Funerals Program,” to help families bury a loved one.