INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Indianapolis City-County Council approved the funding for the James E. Waters community mediation center in 2018 and it was supposed to have opened earlier this year.
The mediation center will have a permanent home at the corner of Rural and 10th street on the city’s east side.
The city has introduced a number of crime reduction programs on the east side, and the mediation center is the next step.
The staff will train folks in the neighborhoods to identify trouble areas. This will include getting people into jobs programs, assisting with food insecurities, educational opportunities and teaching conflict resolution while directing people into city services.
Alicia Baker of the John Boner Center says much of the program will depend on volunteers.
“I think the hope is there are enough neighbors trained in this sort of work that we can use the assets in our community to address these problems and empower enough people to address these conflicts head-on and really get to the root of the issue of what is causing the crime, whether it is job insecurity or lack of education or opportunity. And how the mediation center fits into that is connect neighbors and when there are problems — help them get to the root of those issues,” said Baker.
There are other programs in the city that use block captains. The center will use a similar program the success will depend on active volunteers.
News 8 was told the staff of five has been hired, and the center will open once the renovation to their building is complete.