INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Local organizations are joining forces to ensure people have access to food and transportation.
“We need you to know…raise our community again,” Indianapolis resident Kea Biven said.
The Summer Neighborhood Outreach series focuses on supporting communities that need it most.
“Talking with them, seeing, ‘Hey, what do you want from us? What can we connect you to? What are the service gaps?’” said Lauren Rodriguez, director of the Office of Health and Indianapolis Public Safety.
The office will focus on neighborhoods affected by gun violence and food insecurity. The program will provide mobile health screenings, gun safety items, domestic violence support, employment connections, public transportation resources and free food boxes.
The series kicked off Wednesday in far eastern Indianapolis at Grassy Creek Park. Other events will take place from 4-6 p.m. on June 8 at Gustafson Park, June 15 at Wes Montgomery Park and June 22 at Denver Park.
“This year we have more focused areas that closely match current data, current shot numbers, current areas where they don’t have as many resources,” Rodriguez said.
Biven added: “Health checks. There is a lot of cancer in our communities. There are a lot of diseases and diabetes, so we also want to stay healthy.
Biven says the far east of the city desperately needs those resources. “Everyone still doesn’t say anything. It’s just that it’s an eyesore if you go to a neighborhood where there are a lot of abandoned houses. There’s no maintenance in the neighborhoods anymore and when you see stuff like that, you know there’s going to be crime there.
A group of community members will provide long-term mentorship and advice.
“I think it’s a positive thing because we have to be and become a community again,” Biven said. “We just need to change our minds and our minds need to change and we need to want to do better for ourselves and our community.”