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Fourth Annual Collaborative Spirit Award Presented by INRC: Better, One Neighborhood at a Time

Indianapolis, Indiana – The Indianapolis Neighborhood Resource Center (INRC) presented its fourth annual Collaborative Spirit Award to the Bates Hendricks Neighborhood Association and Southeast Neighborhood Development (SEND) for their demonstration of the spirit of cooperation and collaboration in making a positive transformation of two residential blocks on the near southeast side of Indianapolis. A stipend of $250 will be shared by the winning organizations, which were chosen from among eleven nominations.

Above, you see Jim Mulholland accepts the Collaborative Spirit Award from Jennifer Coffey in Indianapolis.

An initiative known as Building Blocks was used by Bates Hendricks and SEND to administer their joint effort “to alter the landscape, housing, self-esteem, and resident engagement” in the 1400 and 1500 blocks of South New Jersey Street .

“We are extremely pleased to recognize this highly tangible example of collaboration, and our hope is that it will inspire others throughout our city to see the value of bringing multiple partners together to plan, execute, and sustain initiatives that will have significant community ownership and value,” said Anne-Marie Taylor, executive director of INRC.

“To make the South New Jersey Street project work, a variety of Indianapolis community assets were engaged, including a neighborhood association, the local community development corporation, other Indianapolis non-profit partners, businesses, and the City of Indianapolis ,” Taylor commented. “It is especially noteworthy that the example set by Bates Hendricks and SEND is being replicated in two other neighborhoods. This is truly success breeding success to make our city better, one neighborhood at a time.”

Residents of the two South New Jersey Street blocks created their vision for the neighborhood and were involved with the project’s planning and implementation, which was sustained by leveraging “over a million dollars of investment.” Improvements were made to forty houses, with three being completely rehabilitated. The landmark esplanade running down the middle of the street was completely renovated, adding distinction and beauty to the neighborhood. Historic lighting was added, the street was widened and repaved, and sidewalks were replaced.

“This was an ambitious project that succeeded solely because of the spirit of collaboration,” according to Jim Mulholland, Bates Hendricks Neighborhood Association President. “While the tangible results include improved infrastructure, beautification, new housing, improved housing, and even public art, the key outcomes of collaboration and increased resident engagement and ownership will ensure that this project is sustainable, and that we as a community will maintain and build upon these results.”

Major partners in making the neighborhood transformation a reality were Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, the City of Indianapolis, Department of Metropolitan Development/U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development, Local Initiatives Support Corporation, Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana, and Eli Lilly and Company’s Day of Service, all of which provided grants or other assistance to the project.

Previous winners of INRC’s Collaborative Spirit Award are the Near Eastside Collaborative Taskforce, MSD of Perry Township and Oasis of Hope Baptist Church, and the Old Speedway City Neighborhood Association and Speedway Junior High School.

INRC, through facilitation, training, and coaching, strengthens the capacity of neighborhood-based organizations and neighbors to mobilize existing assets, support grassroots leadership, and foster collaboration. INRC was established in 1994 as a private, non-profit organization. It is a partner of Central Indiana’s United Way.

See the INRC website online here.
Read about INRC’s first “Public Allies” here

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