The quality of life study for the area bounded by I-465 to south, Beecher Street to the north, Meridian Street to the west and I-65 to east will continue with a visioning summit Feb. 27.
Running from 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m. at St. Roch Catholic School, 3603 S. Meridian St., the program will identify strategies for improving the Southside through community engagement and a plan for sustained growth.
Organizers hope to engage stakeholders in defining a shared vision of the area’s future, which includes all aspects of life: housing, education, culture, parks, health and child care and safety.
The 4.25-square-mile area faces many challenges, including a 20 percent poverty rate, higher-than-average unemployment and an abundance of empty homes and storefronts. According to a news release from Fifth Third Bank, the district’s population is about 40,000, with approximately 84 percent being Caucasian, 10 percent Latino and 6 percent African-American.
Despite those pitfalls, the outlook for revitalizing the Southside looks promising, according to the bank and other sponsors of the study: the University of Indianapolis, the Local Initiatives Support Corp. and the Indianapolis Housing Partnership.
The crown jewels of the area are Garfield Park and UIndy, and neither show any signs of losing your luster. The university dedicated its $28 million Health Pavilion in October. Other projects include renovating Krannert Memorial Library, replacing the aging student apartments on Shelby Street, expanding science laboratories and launching new academic programs.
Anyone can participate in the summit, whose end goal is a document that captures a collaborative vision while outlining clear action steps, timelines and individuals or institutions responsible for making it a reality.
Those planning to attend can RSVP by calling Scarlett Andres Martin at 602-3616 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.