Indianapolis Near Eastside Neighborhood
State Farm® has been a long-standing partner with LISC (Local Initiatives Support Corporation) and community leaders working to revitalize Indianapolis' Near Eastside neighborhood. In 2007, the company provided early seed funding for residents, businesses, nonprofit organizations, clergy members, law enforcement, and others to come together to create a comprehensive quality-of-life plan that would provide a blueprint for transformation.
Because of the support of State Farm and other investors, Near Eastside residents were able to put forth a vision for improved housing, economic, employment, education, recreation, and health opportunities. With advocacy from LISC, that vision became the legacy project included in the City's successful bid to host the 2012 Super Bowl. Over the past three years, the Super Bowl Legacy Project has galvanized investment in the Near Eastside's quality-of-life plan, and State Farm has been at the forefront.
State Farm grant funds assist the operation of a LISC Financial Opportunity Center (FOC) located within the John H. Boner Community Center – the agency leading plan implementation on the Near Eastside. The FOC provides a central location for the bundling of financial coaching, employment and public benefits access services that, when taken together, allow low- and moderate-income residents to improve their financial bottom line. Over the past three years, the FOC has served 2,600 Near Eastside residents.
State Farm has also been a long-standing supporter, together with LISC, of the East 10th Street Civic Association's efforts to generate economic vitality by helping existing businesses improve their operations and marketing, recruiting new merchants to the corridor, refurbishing storefronts, and fostering community engagement. As a result, the East 10th Street Civic Association has recruited over 50 businesses to the Near Eastside and helped to create 100 jobs since 2007. The Pogue's Run Grocer is one of these new businesses; the first cooperative grocery in Indianapolis, it filled a food access void left when two other groceries closed in the area.
In addition to grant dollars, LISC deploys State Farm loan funds for projects like Clifford Corners — a 25,000 square-foot, three-level, mixed-use development located on the East 10th Street commercial corridor that will feature nine retail bays, 30 rental apartments, and four affordable, owner-occupied residential units when it is completed in 2012. Underscoring the leveraging power of philanthropic partnerships, State Farm's long-time involvement in the Near Eastside through LISC led to its own direct loan to the John H. Boner Community Center to renovate 250 homes and further revitalize East 10th Street.
The Near Eastside stands as a model for comprehensive community development, and State Farm grant funds to LISC through 2013 will enable the model to be replicated in Indianapolis' Mid-North neighborhood. Funding through 2013 will also continue to support Indianapolis LISC's FOCs and commercial revitalization programs.