June 1, 2018
When rocks started flying through the windows of the Drexel Gardens Christian Church, Pastor Gary Lynch knew he had to take action — but he also knew he couldn’t do it alone.
By partnering with neighbors and local organizations, like the Indianapolis Neighborhood Resource Center (INRC) and Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, Gary united his Drexel Gardens neighborhood to transform it. The area went from crime-ridden to a place where neighbors come together to help one another, in ways as big as building new homes.
To help learn how he could help his neighbors, Gary capitalized on the Indianapolis Community Building Institute (ICBI), an IRNC leadership development program designed for grassroots community leaders. The series of workshops focus on the skills needed to build and grow dynamic neighborhoods and focuses on the philosophy of Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD). The program provides training that incorporates the traditional classes of neighborhood organization with a neighborhood-based project. ICBI helped Gary focus on and develop his strengths while instilling the ABCD theory of practice that produces a ripple effect across communities and our city.
ICBI gives Indianapolis neighbors a way they can connect, realize and act on their passions for change. For Gary, ICBI taught him how to connect with his fellow neighbors to bring drastic, positive change to the Drexel Garden neighborhood he and his church resides in.
A few years ago, people would be fearful of rocks going through their windows and other localized crimes in the Drexel Garden neighborhood. But now, thanks to Gary’s initiative, his church and many local partners, the Drexel Gardens neighborhood is a place where families feel safe and feel comfortable raising a family. This Drexel Garden story proves that when we unite, we’re able to accomplish so much more. There is still more to be done in the Drexel Gardens neighborhood, but Gary knows that trusting your fellow neighbor, building relationships and being a part of the community is the best way to produce progress.
Do you want to become an advocate for your neighborhood like Gary? If so, learn more about advocacy and how you can be a game changer in our community here.