Volunteer Center

Near West Collaborative

General Information

 
Agency Address: 2440 West Ohio Street
 
City: Indianapolis
 
State: IN
 
ZIP: 46222
 

Contact Information

 
Contact Name: Brad Cox
 
Contact Email: coxbr@indiana.edu
 
Contact Phone: 317-637-4312 ext 21
 
Website Address: www.nearwestindy.com
 

Volunteer Information

Categorical Listing: Other-Neighborhood

Mission: In its current state, the Near Westside has successfully graduated from the GINI initiative and has formed the Near West Collaborative, which consist of four culturally, economically, and diverse neighborhoods (Hawthorne, We Care, Haughville, and Stringtown). Now known as a Sustainable Community through LISC;, Near West Collaborative works as a conduit to ensure the neighborhood associations, institutions, community centers, and business work together to help improve the quality of life of the community by focusing on seven priority areas for immediate and long-term vitality of the neighborhoods.

These priorities consist of housing, public safety, beautification, economic development, education, health, and civic and youth participation. In order to accomplish major goals of our Quality of Life plan, we enlist the help of organizations like you. Your contribution, sponsorship, or volunteer support provides millions of dollars of investments that will ultimately improve the quality of life of every individual in the Near West area.

Each year, Near West creates a list of proposals that will be great for organizations like you to participate in. These proposals are not set in stone, they is always room for editing, rephrasing, and reevaluating the process to fit the needs of the community and your organization. We hope that these ideas spark an interest in your organization and you can find an idea that you can participate fully in.

Volunteer Opportunities:

Near West Engagement ProgramYouth Engagement

"Youth in High Def is the Near West Youth Council. They were formed in 2009 and since have created three successful youth summits. Each youth in the council has received Facilitation training and utilize their skills to facilitate youth meetings, study circles, and activities throughout Indianapolis.

In 2013, the youth will focus on three components: entrepreneurship skills, youth justice appreciation, and leadership skills. They will focus their efforts in 2013 to:

• Creating a youth summit with a theme that focuses on the youth justice system in hopes to diminish the crime and incarceration of youth under the age of 18 in the area.
• Each youth participant will have an opportunity create a business plan that the youth can implement during the summer.
• Each youth participant will obtain facilitation and leadership skills, which in turn will be, utilize to create a public policy through the Project Citizen program.

Once each participant has accomplished the above skills, the youth will have an opportunity to attend two field trips as well.
• Volunteer needs:
o Volunteers can help facilitate some classes during the Youth Summit. Youth summit will be held in October
o 20 Volunteers can help monitor the event and chaperone the youth.

• Funding needs:
  Entrepreneurship ( Business Launch) - $7500
  $500 startup cost for 15 youth inspiring to start their business
  Youth Summit - $8000
  To pay for location, supplies, food, and advertisement
  Sponsorship packages available
  Field Trips ( Washington D.C. and Louisville, Kentucky) - $7500
  Includes transportation and lodging for both trips


Health Engagement
In 1998, IUPUI entered into a partnership with the Near Westside WESCO leadership, with education instructors, community organizations, service providers, and the IU School of Nursing to empower residents to achieve their optimal health. By 2002, this consortium had developed a five-year plan to "promote and improve the health of Near Westside residents through development of collaborative community activities and initiatives." In 2010, the Near Westside developed four community gardens to improve the established food desert in the area. In 2012, the community focuses on working with young mothers to improve the habits of food purchasing and to educate healthy cooking skills.

Near West Community Gardens ( Growing Near West)
• IUPUI provided Near West with technical assistance and manpower to create a community garden in each of the four neighborhoods. To maintain each garden it cost $2500 a year.
o Includes- dirt, seeds, water supply, and equipment
• Volunteer needs:
o Garden Prep Days will be hosted in March. Every weekend from 8 am until 12 noon - 30 volunteers will be needed.
• Volunteers will prep the gardens, till the land, and plant seeds

Near West Family DEAL program. (Dynamic Eating And Living)
• Near West will teach 20 young single moms between the ages of 19-25 years of age how to cook and purchase healthy food on a budget or government assistance. We will provide them with cooking utensils and cooking classes as well.
o Funding - $10,000
o Includes pots and pans for 20 participants and food supplies.
• Volunteer needs:
o Volunteers can help teach six cooking classes that will start in the Spring.
o 20 Volunteers can spread the word ( door to door) to engage participants


Civic Engagement- NEAT Squad ( Neighborhood Engagement Action Team)

The NEAT Squad leader is the key person in any neighborhood. We like to refer to them as mini- Community organizers! These individuals are an integral component to keeping the block and neighborhood actively involved, as well as helping make the information exchange between neighbors, organizations, and schools run smoothly.
• Near West Collaborative will have 4 to 8 individual NEAT Squad leaders. Depending on funding these one to two leaders will be placed in their current neighborhood association
o Funding - $10,000- for 4 people, $20,000 for 8 individuals
• Includes a stipend of $200 a month for every NEAT Squad leader.
• Include supplies for advertisement, printing, and other items.

Great Indy Clean-up Initiative
During their efforts to engage more residents, each neighborhood association has found that residents participate highly in the Adopt a Block program through Keep Indianapolis Beautiful. Because of their turnout in the Great Indy Clean Up, it was suggested that we conduct two major Great Indy Clean ups in our area

Great Indy Clean up initiative
• Clean-up day
o October 6, 2012 8 am until 4pm
o April 6, 2013 8 am until 4pm

• Volunteer needs:
o Each neighborhood will need at least 20 volunteers to complete the clean-up. A total number of 80 volunteers will be needed.
o Volunteers will receive be asked to clean gutters, pull grass from sidewalks, help clean up alleys with dump trucks, and pick up trash in the community.


Connect to Engage activity is an organized cleanup, which will focus on two streets in Near West (Miley Avenue and Holmes Street) which runs through all four neighborhoods. During the cleaning, each neighborhood will receive branding materials such as signs, posters, or planters at which they will be display during the clean-up. The day will also include entertainment and food that each neighborhood will provide that will display their cultural differences.
• Spring date for event
o May 25, 2013 8 am until 4pm

• Volunteer needs:
o Volunteers can help with clean up on the street...
o 20 Volunteers can help monitor the event and prep each neighborhood as they prepare for food and entertainment
o Volunteers can go door to door with residents to provide information to other residents not participating in the event.

• Funding needs:
Planters- $2500
3 per neighborhood
Signs 24x48 - $3000
5 per neighborhood
Entertainment- $500
Music for each neighborhood
Supplies- $1000
Trash bags, gloves, cleaning supplies

Beautification Engagement
The Near Westside is a community that abounds with energy and resources. There are 14,517 residents of numerous ethnic backgrounds - 44% Caucasian, 29% African American, 24% Hispanic, and 3% other groups. It has numerous organizational meetings and activities throughout the four neighborhoods. Our goal is to improve the infrastructure and housing stock of our communities. If these surveys are conducted, they can provide millions of dollars of leverage in our community.

Conduct a tree survey. Near West is one of the first established areas. Some of our neighborhoods have trees that are over 100 years old and their roots have uproot the sidewalks and streets. It is the responsibility of the community to monitor these issues and report to the Forestry department to request the repair of these issue.
• Survey dates
o May 11th - Stringtown N. A. - Haughville Community Council
o June 8th - We Care Neighborhood association
o July 13th- Hawthorne N.A.
o August 3rd- Haughville Community Council

• Volunteers needs:

o Each neighborhood will need at least 10 volunteers to complete the survey. Surveys can be broken up into neighborhoods or all together on one day.
o Survey will take at least 5 hours to complete
o Volunteers will receive a short presentation on how to complete the survey; will receive a camera, clipboard, pencil, and reports.
Conduct Infrastructure Survey. Near West is one of first established neighborhood areas. Some of our neighborhoods still are missing sidewalks and their alleys are depilated. By conducting this survey, Near West can provide the City of Indianapolis a list of needed streets to place on their list.

• Survey dates
o April 13th Stringtown N. A. - Haughville Community Council
o June 15th We Care Neighborhood association
o July 27th Hawthorne N.A.
o August 24th Haughville Community Council

• Volunteers needs:
o Each neighborhood will need at least 12 volunteers to complete the survey. Each street will require 6 volunteers. Surveys can be broken up into neighborhoods or all together on one day.
o Survey will take at least 8 hours to complete
o Volunteers will receive a short presentation on how to complete the survey; will receive cameras, clipboard, pencil, and reports.


Beautification Engagement (cont.)

The Near Westside is a community that abounds with energy and resources. There are 14,517 residents of numerous ethnic backgrounds - 44% Caucasian, 29% African American, 24% Hispanic, and 3% other groups. It has numerous organizational meetings and activities throughout the four neighborhoods. Our goal is to improve the infrastructure and housing stock of our communities. If these surveys are conducted, they can provide millions of dollars of leverage in our community.

Conduct Housing Survey. Near West prides itself on the historic and established family dwellings that we have in our area. Because we are an established community, we would like to keep a list of houses in our area. Grade our homes, and determine if they are vacant, abandon, rentals, or home owned. . This survey will help build a database that we can utilize in so many other areas in our community.
• Survey dates
o May - Stringtown N. A. - Haughville Community Council
o August - We Care Neighborhood association
o September - Hawthorne N.A.
o October- Haughville Community Council

• Volunteer needs:
o Each neighborhood will need at least 8 volunteers to complete the survey. Each street will require 4 volunteers. Surveys can be broken up into per neighborhoods or all together on one day.
o Survey will take at least 8 hours to complete
o Volunteers will receive a short presentation on how to complete the survey; will receive cameras, clipboard, pencil, and reports.
When do you need volunteers? (days of the week, times, seasonally):
 
Most of the events take place on Saturdays, however, there are a few opportunities that will consist of a few days participation.
 
Distance from Butler:
 
Approximately 7 miles
 
20 minutes
 
Is volunteer training required?:
 
No
 
Is a background check required?:
 
No