More than 10 years ago, leaders at St. Vincent Health became interested in expanding their community development efforts in the neighborhood around their West 86th Street location on the northwest side of Indianapolis. They connected with a group of neighbors and stakeholders who were trying to address issues around low-income housing and quality of life in the area. Through St. Vincent’s leadership and financial support the organization now known as the Crooked Creek Community Development Corporation (CDC) was born.
Since that time, the Crooked Creek CDC has been working to improve housing, public infrastructure and commercial areas for all those who live, work and visit the area. Of particular interest is helping a number of elderly women who live alone in their homes and find it difficult to maintain them.
“There’s a whole generation who are at this stage of life who really need help with their homes,” said Nancy Larner Ruschman, director of community partnerships. “Many have lived here for 30+ years and now need major home repairs. They don’t want to leave their homes but can’t afford to properly maintain them. “
On April 26, 2014, Rebuilding Together Indianapolis will be helping with this effort by making needed repairs and upgrades to about 20 homes in the area.
“People can be pretty skeptical when you say you’re going to provide free home repairs,” said Ruschman. “So we held an open house where they could come in, meet us, and learn about the program. Some even got teary eyed just thinking they might be able to get their home repaired. It’s such a relief for them.”
The CDC covers a large area from I-465 on the west and north to Spring Mill Road and the White River to the east and 38th street to the south. Offices for the Crooked Creek CDC used to be located at 92nd and Michigan Road until executive director Scott Armstrong felt the need to move to the heart of the neighborhood. The offices are now located at 7003 North Michigan Road and include a space called ‘The Hub’ that is open to area businesses and residents to use for meetings at no charge. The Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership also opened a satellite office in the same strip center.
“It has been fantastic to be in the heart of the neighborhood,” said Ruschman.
For more information on the Crooked Creek CDC, visit their website at crookedcreekcdc.org