Creating opportunities of renewal and transformation in the lives of people residing in the Brookside neighborhood.
We take a holistic, Gospel-centered approach to meet the needs of neighborhood residents right where they’re at while building relationships and working together toward a collective understanding of the needs of the community.
70% in Poverty
More than 70% of our neighbors live at poverty levels below the federal poverty level
20% Abused or Neglected
More than 20% of children have experienced abuse or neglect
Poverty is the reality for those living in the Brookside neighborhood. As of 2015, over 70% of Brookside residents have an income below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level. Not only that, but eight out of every ten children from the community live in poverty. Over 20% of children have experienced abuse or neglect.
Brookside is labeled as the “most dangerous neighborhood” due to multiple homicides
1 in 6 Reenter
Previously incarcerated in Indiana return to the 46201 zip code
Most know Brookside as the most violent neighborhood in Indianapolis. In 2016, it was labeled as the deadliest neighborhood in the city, with over 20 homicides. Crime is a reality that residents face on a daily basis. Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department has identified the neighborhood as a “hotspot” where homicides, overdoses, non-fatal shootings, and EMS calls are disproportionately higher than other communities. One in six previously incarcerated men and women who are released from the criminal justice system in the state of Indiana reenter into the 46201 zip code each year. Of those that are released into the area, 50% reenter the criminal justice system.
Almost half of 3rd graders at the local elementary school fail the IREAD-3 Test
1 in 8 Pass ISTEP
Only 1 in 8 children will pass both English & Math portions
With trauma being a daily experience for children living in this community, it is no wonder that 41% of 3rd grade students at the local elementary school are failing the IREAD-3 test, prohibiting them from advancing to 4th grade. Not only that, but only 13% of students passed both the English and Math portions of the ISTEP test in 2016.
50+ Abandoned Houses
Abandoned and vacant houses contribute to blight and crime
Section 8 has a 2 year waitlist to receive affordable housing vouchers
Stability in this neighborhood is difficult to come by when poor families are preyed upon by out of state property owners who encourage them to apply for an apartment with a non-refundable application fee, even after the family discloses a past eviction. It is extremely difficult for a family or individual in the Brookside neighborhood to find quality housing, yet there are over 50 abandoned houses in the area that could be used for low-income housing opportunities.
Most importantly, this is an incredibly vibrant and diverse community. Our neighbors take pride in their work and in providing for their families. They are quick to lend a helping hand and are fierce advocates for those they love. What the Brookside neighborhood lacks in resources, they make up for through grit and compassion.
While community members face daily obstacles in terms of poverty, crime and housing, the neighborhood has many assets in spite of the lack of resources. There is ample green space and one of the largest urban parks – Brookside Park. The area has been identified as one of the Great Places 2020 Initiative, where significant social and capital investments will be made to enhance quality of life and spur private investment. The area is situated in a federally-designated Promise Zone, where the federal government will work with local leaders to achieve neighborhood created goals and priorities. The area is also home to a number of new artistic collaborations and creative placemaking efforts.
The desire of Brookside Community Church is to see renewal and transformation in the lives of our neighbors as they are impacted by the power of the Gospel, lived out in the context of a community of believers. We seek the restoration of broken relationships that have resulted in the obstacles that our community faces. By recognizing the needs of our neighbors in the areas of reentry, youth development, and housing, the church desires to be a haven where individuals and families can receive support and services that create spiritual, financial, emotional, and physical change.
In 2016, Brookside Community Church launched Brookside Community Development Corporation to be the outreach arm of the church, under which the Reentry, Play, and Housing initiatives would be administered. The goal of Brookside CDC is to expand the outreach opportunities of the church in those three areas. Brookside CDC is governed by Brookside Community Church and lives out the same missional values as the church. Through Brookside CDC, we are better able to be the church that Christ called us to be as we love and serve our neighbors.
We invest in people over places. We seek to know one another as family where life is walked out in relationship, individual needs are met, and authentic community is formed – all in a way that brings dignity, meaning, and a sense of belonging. Our family is made up of a diverse group of people from various cultural and socio-economic backgrounds in and beyond our city. The beauty of the Brookside family is best seen through the honest expression of our need for each other.
The trajectory we desire for every person in our neighborhood is to move from a mentality of survival to one of stability. Through our programming, we walk alongside individuals to provide resources, accountability, and a pathway toward personal, spiritual, and communal revitalization.
We firmly hold that the only way our community will see transformation is by pointing people to Jesus and allow for His redeeming work to reside within the shared brokenness of our hearts. The Gospel alone has the power to renew our neighborhood one life at a time.