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Indy residents team up to turn neighborhood around

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – A group of residents on the near south side says their neighborhood has seen better days. Now they’re banding together to do something about it.

“It’s neglected,” said Esther Barber, president of the Meridian Raymond Neighborhood Association. “We need to do something to improve.”

“The whole neighborhood has gone downhill,” said Carole King, who grew up in the area.

They say the challenges lately include petty crime, plus crumbling streets and sidewalks.

“I usually walk in the street because it’s safer for me as an older person than walking on the sidewalk,” said Walt Willett.

So Willet, Barber and other concerned neighbors passed out flyers for a neighborhood meeting this week. Also in attendance was City-County Councilor Jeff Miller and representatives from the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.

Miller praised the group’s passion to rally together to push for improvements and said it’s a lesson for every neighborhood in the city.

“As a city councilor, as the administration, it’s so much easier when a neighborhood says ‘here’s my top ten list. I want it in this order,’” said Miller. “(the key is) for neighborhoods to get involved and work together.”

Miller said the search is on for businesses or groups to partner with the neighborhood to help with redevelopment.

“This is, kind of, this island that doesn’t really have a big brother, if you will, saying ‘what can we do to redevelop?’” said Miller.

Neighbors said their next meeting with city officials is expected to include a conversation with the Department of Code Enforcement to address issues including abandoned houses.

Those concerned about their own neighborhood and looking for help with what to do about it may call their neighborhood liaison. You can find out who represents your part of the city here.

Barber said she’s looking forward to her neighborhood’s future.

“I don’t want to live somewhere else,” she said. “I like it here.”