That’s SoIndy!

South Indy Quality of Life Plan defines what makes the Southside of Indianapolis great, and what needs work

Quality of Life leader Scarlett Martin

What does quality of life mean to the people on the Southside of Indianapolis? The answer has been revealed as the South Indy (SoIndy) Quality of Life Plan was unrolled on Dec. 13 at the University of Indianapolis campus.

The University of Indianapolis, Fifth Third Bank, Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership (INHP) and Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) partnered in 2015 to lead the Quality of Life Plan. A steering team was formed with approximately 20 members consisting of elected officials, neighborhood and community leaders. Scarlett Martin was brought in that year as a community builder to conduct interviews and surveys with Southside residents and educate them of the importance of a quality of life plan.

By the end of December, the study accumulated 108 interviews, 100 online surveys and 268 university-based interviews. In February, a Visioning Summit was held and afterwards volunteers formed seven action teams to create each part of the plan. Those action team topics are: community building, housing, connectivity, Madison Avenue Corridor, education and workforce, Shelby Street Corridor and health and wellness.

Fifth-Third Bank President Steve Alonso.

“My compliments to everyone involved,” said Steve Alonso, president and CEO of Greater Indiana Region at Fifth Third Bank. “I thought the most impressive page of this whole document is the last page which lists all of the people that were involved in this. It is a comprehensive body of work. It’s very impressive. This is the beginning of a transformation. We feel very fortunate. to be on this journey with you.”

The plan encompasses eight neighborhoods, four off which were added as this planning process started: Bean Creek, Carson Heights, University Heights, Garfield Park, Meridian Raymond, Northwest Perry, Rosedale Hills and South Village.

Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett.

“Neighborhoods like the ones represented here tonight represent a competitive advantage when people begin looking at where they want to live and where they want to work,” said Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett. “This area is authentic, with anchor institutions like this great university. The neighborhoods celebrated this evening in this rollout of our quality of life plan have a rich history that attaches to them. They have a memory that makes this a very special part of our city. This area is unique with opportunities for renaissance and the opportunities for renewal. You all benefit from increased connectivity and incredible community spirit. You also appreciate that you cannot do it alone.”

Action teams expressed their concerns about South Indy including having the infrastructure to support connectivity, affordable healthy food options, commercial development, a local industry to support education and employment and more. INHP sponsored six Early Action grants for these teams, including: Community Career Fairs, South Indy Connectivity Master Plan,

Shelby Street Beautification and Signage, SNAP Outreach for Garfield Park Farmer’s Market, South Indy Environmental Health Research, and South Indy Neighborhood Tailgate Party.

The entire plan can be found at

The plan outlines plenty of work that needs to be done. All residents and stakeholders are invited to the 2017 Action Team Meeting on Jan. 24, 5:30 p.m. at Emerich Manual High School to participate in the process.