Making Connections Indy News Lead Story:
Neighborhood Partners
– Connecting Residents to Resources

On a bright Saturday morning in Southeast, a group of residents from Southeast and Martindale Brightwood were knocking on doors in the neighborhood. They weren’t selling anything, but what they had to hand out to residents was invaluable.

These residents – five in Southeast and three in Martindale Brightwood – are part of the Neighborhood Partners program sponsored by Making Connections and the Neighborhood Alliance for Child Safety (NACS). Neighborhood Partners connect with other residents, sharing information and resources so that they can become involved in their neighborhoods.

“We pass out information on neighborhood events, like association meetings and information specifically for families, like the Play and Learn playgroups and Imagination Library,” explained Jesse May, a Southeast resident and Neighborhood Partner.

From time to time, Neighborhood Partners will canvass a particular area of one of the neighborhoods to bring attention to a community issue. For example, they canvassed parts of Martindale Brightwood to let residents know about a town hall meeting, and attendance soared at the event. On another occasion, the Neighborhood Partners canvassed sections of Southeast to let residents know about the Play and Learn playgroups.

Neighborhood Partners also attend various community meetings, bringing information about Making Connections and NACS throughout the community. “We want residents to know about the different programs and resources that are out there. There’s so much going on in the neighborhoods, and we want to help connect people to things they need and are really interested in,” says Alicia Barnett, Resident Engagement Coach for Making Connections.

Since the beginning of the year, the Neighborhood Partners have connected with over 1,000 residents in both neighborhoods “What I’ve found out so far is that residents in my neighborhood are interested in learning more about jobs and job training,” says Janelle Williams, Martindale Brightwood Neighborhood Partner. “I’ve been able to connect them to Julie Barrett, the neighborhood job placement specialist, and to services at Genesis Plaza and the local library.”

Residents also value the work of the Neighborhood Partners. “People are happy to see that I’m out there engaging with them, and I love being out there,” according to Williams.

If your organization needs help getting the word out on events that are happening in the two neighborhoods, contact Sarah Sampson, Outreach Coordinator at NACS South at 686-0161, extension 225 to find out how the Neighborhood Partners can help.

Making Connections is a ten-year investment by the Annie E. Casey Foundation to improve the outcomes for families and children in tough or isolated neighborhoods.
Making Connections Indianapolis works with residents in the Martindale/Brightwood and Southeast neighborhoods to help promote family & neighborhood strengthening by...

  • Creating the opportunity to earn
    a decent living and build assets;
  • Building close ties with family,
    neighbors, kin, faith communities
    and civic groups;
  • Having reliable services close to home;
  • Providing resources to families and caregivers to help prepare
    young children for school.

Making Connections Indianapolis
846 North Senate Avenue Suite 216
Indianapolis, IN 46202
317-632-4599 phone