The Far Eastside of Indianapolis is facing stigma, disinvestment, and economic stagnation. To help address this situation, the Mayor’s Office, the Central Indiana Community Foundation, and the Finish Line Foundation engaged FUSE Executive Fellow Lisa Marie Gala to help identify strategies and best practices for revitalization.
After an extensive landscape review, Lisa Marie identified the need for an asset-based community development strategy that builds on the skills, talents, and entrepreneurial resources that already exist in the community. For example, in response to barriers faced by entrepreneurs on the Far Eastside in accessing traditional bank financing, Lisa Marie identified several grassroots, faith-based lending organizations that provide low-interest community loans. She also cultivated partnerships with educational institutions and community-based organizations, such as Ball State University, Purdue Extension, and Urban Land Institute. These new partnerships will help support job training and commercial redevelopment on the Far Eastside, including the creation of new senior living facilities, child care centers, affordable housing, and green space.