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NSP Transforms Neighborhoods

Watch this video highlighting the progress and growth resulting from a $29 million investment in our community during 2009-2013. LISC was already working in neighborhoods to assist residents develop Quality of Life Plans, which set a resident-led vision and course of action necessary to revitalize their communities.  When investments from the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) came into these communities, Quality of Life Plans were in place that allowed investments to quickly realize resident-drive goals. See how NSP transformed neighborhoods and people’s lives by building new housing units, creating parks and new community spaces, demolishing unsafe structures, and renovating homes into beautiful and … Continued

Neighborhood Visionary: Tabernacle Field

Just north of Downtown Indianapolis, on the corner of Central Avenue and 34th Street, sits Tabernacle Presbyterian Church. Founded in 1924, TAB, as it’s commonly known, is more than a place to worship on Sundays. It’s a community anchor in the Mapleton-Fall Creek neighborhood. For decades, TAB has provided a safe place for area kids—many of them from low-income homes—to play and socialize. Throughout the years the church’s large athletic field has been particularly popular among children. From early morning until late night, kids have flocked there to play lacrosse, football, soccer, and other sports. And these days, the field’s use is at … Continued

Neighborhood Visionary: Diane Arnold

For Diane Arnold, executive director of Hawthorne Community Center, the Hawthorne neighborhood on Indianapolis’s Near Westside isn’t just where she works—it’s where she lives. It’s where her family lives. And it’s a community she’s been working to improve for more than 40 years. Diane’s roots at the Hawthorne Community Center began with her mother accepting the position as executive director more than four decades ago. At the time, the Hawthorne Community Center was little more than an informal rec center, providing kids and families a safe place to play and congregate. Since then, Hawthorne Community Center has taken tremendous strides … Continued

New Urban Greenhouse Farm will grow a Million Pounds of Local Produce

WHO:  Mayor Greg Ballard, Lieutenant Governor Susan Ellspermann, Congressman André Carson, Gina Sheets, Director of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture,Phil Votaw, Executive Director of the Westside Community Development Corporation Paul Lightfoot, CEO of BrightFarms WHAT:  Announce plans for a state-of the art hydroponic greenhouse farm. WHEN:   Monday, July 15, 2013   3:00-4:30pm WHERE:  The Platform, East Wing of City Market – 202 East Market Street BACKGROUND: Led by the WCDC, the area near the site of this greenhouse farm has become a redevelopment hub, connecting commercial revitalization to residents of the community. BrightFarms 100,000 square foot farm will create up to 25 green … Continued

Northeast Corridor Looks to Make Improvements in Quality of Life

By Jessica R. Key Indianapolis Recorder The Northeastside of Indianapolis is an area that has its assets and disadvantages like any other neighborhood in the city, yet residents and community stakeholders aren’t satisfied with the status quo. They would like to see the area reach its full potential. In order to harness that desire and turn it into action, the Northeast Corridor Quality of Life plan will be created. “The area has a lot of potential as far as the parks, the Monon, businesses and some solid residential areas. It also has some real challenges,” said Bill Taft, executive director of … Continued

Project offers a preview of vision for the East Washington Street corridor

Block will be temporarily reconfigured into a vibrant public space for people, bikes, local shops and artists (Indianapolis, Ind.) On Saturday, June 8, from noon until 5 p.m., the block of East Washington Street between Rural and Oxford will be transformed. Residents, volunteers, artists, businesses, and neighborhood organizations will change the current configuration of five traffic lanes and vacant lots into a vision of what  could be: pedestrian-friendly, tree-lined sidewalks, enhanced transit stops, outdoor dining, public seating, public art, and a mix of small commercial storefronts and businesses – even a protected cycle track. The project – Better Block Indy: East … Continued

What A Year It’s Been

A year that started with one of the biggest parties in the world and ends with a new home in one of America’s most innovative new workspaces? Maybe that sounds a little backwards—but it all makes sense to us at Indianapolis LISC. Our 20th anniversary year was one for the books: we celebrated the good work we’ve been honored to be part of for the last two decades, and set the stage for even greater things to come. In late January and early February, the world came to Indianapolis for Super Bowl XLVI. And all eyes turned to Indianapolis’s Near … Continued

Neighborhood Visionary: Ken Morgan – Visionary Project: 500 Place

Ken Morgan has deep roots in Indianapolis. And an area of Indianapolis that’s particularly important to Ken is Indiana Avenue—the city’s most historically significant African-American district. It’s where he spent part of his childhood, where he was a student, minister, and lawyer, and where he first became involved in the world of community development. In the 1980s, most of the historic buildings that populated Indiana Avenue in its heyday of the ‘30s and ‘40s were gone. But one of the few remaining ones, the iconic Madame Walker Theatre, is where Ken got his first taste of community development. “The Madame … Continued

Neighborhood Visionary Project: The Charles A. Tindley Accelerated School

It was an idea as risky as it was bold: to open Indiana’s first accelerated school—using a rigorous accelerated education model that treats all students as gifted—in an abandoned grocery store in one of Indianapolis’s most economically-depressed areas. But LISC saw promise in the vision of the Charles A. Tindley Accelerated School’s founders, and provided a charter school loan to help it get off the ground. “LISC saw what we saw,” Tindley co-founder Siri Loescher said. “An opportunity to help kids get a better education in an area where it’s needed most.” Today, the Tindley School is a model of … Continued

Neighborhood Visionary Project: Chase Near Eastside Legacy Center

Vibrant neighborhoods. Impassioned community leadership. Engaged residents. They’re all components of a successful city. And ambitious projects like the Chase Near Eastside Legacy Center show that Indianapolis is rich in all three. It hasn’t always been that way—especially not on the city’s Near Eastside. For decades, the area was characterized by vacant homes and storefronts, rising crime rates, and the collapse of key neighborhood institutions. But five years ago, a group of dedicated residents came together under the auspices of the Great Indy Neighborhoods Initiatives (GINI) and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) to improve their community through a bold … Continued

Neighborhood Visionary: The Bowlings

If you ask the Bowlings, the key to healthy neighborhoods is family. And for them, “family” includes the whole neighborhood. For Mike Bowling and his sons Josh (community programming coordinator at the Chase Near Eastside Legacy Center) and Joe (director, East Washington Partnership at the Englewood CDC), the best way to keep the neighborhood family strong is simple: open conversation. And at Englewood Christian Church where Mike serves as pastor, conversation is the focus of the ministry. “About 15 years ago, we decided that on Sunday nights, we were going to put the chairs in a circle with our congregation … Continued

Neighborhood Visionary: Beverly Mukes-Gaither

Success in neighborhood development doesn’t happen overnight. It takes dedication, perseverance and a strong desire to make a difference—and nobody knows that better than Beverly Mukes-Gaither. As Vice President and Enterprise CRA Manager at Fifth-Third Bank, Beverly oversees the corporation’s commitment to helping develop and improve local communities. And it’s a job she absolutely loves, because Beverly has always had a passion for making a difference in communities fighting for positive change. But positive change doesn’t always come easy—especially in some of Indy’s toughest neighborhoods. Sometimes it takes months or even years to make a significant difference. “To be successful … Continued

Mozingo Place: An anchor for positive change.

Ten years ago, the Mozingo Building was neglected, crumbling, and had a faltering foundation. Bricks were literally falling out of the walls. It stood as a sad reminder of what had once been a spirited, vibrant neighborhood. But that all changed in 2002. That’s when Frank Hagaman, founder and former president of Partners in Housing Development Corporation, contacted LISC for help in transforming Mozingo into Mozingo Place—an affordable housing community focused on helping people with special needs. “People need the consistency and continuity of knowing they can live in a place that’s decent, safe, clean, and affordable,” said Hagaman. “I … Continued

LISC in the news: Quietly making a big difference in Indy.

Over the past 20 years, LISC has invested more than $120 million in various neighborhood development projects throughout Indianapolis. And it has done so with little fanfare, preferring to let its work speak for itself. But now, as LISC prepares to celebrate its 20th anniversary, people are starting to take notice. The latest example is this story featured on WTHR. It highlights LISC’s investments in up-and-coming neighborhoods like Fountain Square and the Near Eastside. And shows how LISC helps fund projects that not only improve our city, but also help its citizens improve their own lives. Watch the video here.

Neighborhood Visionary: Jackie Nytes

When Jackie Nytes first moved to Indianapolis’s Mapleton Fall Creek community in 1981, the neighborhood was in dire shape. Homes were vacant and abandoned, property values were low, and many residents seemed unconcerned about the state of their neighborhood. But Jackie didn’t see the Mapleton Fall Creek Neighborhood as a problem. She saw it as an opportunity. It was a chance to help restore one of Indianapolis’s great neighborhoods. So Jackie joined the Mapleton Fall Creek Development Corporation and asked the simple question: “how can I help?” It’s a question that Jackie’s still asking today—and it’s a question that the … Continued