“Be the change you want to see in the world.” - Gandhi
What’s the Quality of Life Plan?
A quality of life plan is just what it sounds like; a plan for improving the quality of life in your neighborhood. Quality of Life Plans are created by the people and organizations of a specific area (residents, businesses, nonprofit organizations). These stakeholders get together and talk about the community they want to have, how to create it, who will do the work, how much it will cost and where the resources to do it will come from. All of these ideas are written down and this becomes the Quality of Life Plan for the neighborhood.
What is it used for?
Quality of Life Plans help neighbors get into agreement about how to make their neighborhood better and help them work together to make it happen. The plans are updated periodically to make changes as conditions change, new opportunities appear or neighborhood priorities change. The plan and the group process of making them help residents of a neighborhood get on the same page and work together to improve their neighborhood quality of life. Quality of Life Plans also make it easier for your neighborhood to get a variety of different resources for your neighborhood. Neighborhoods that have plans tend to get more resources for their needs than neighborhoods that don’t.
Who is it for? Who is included?
Quality of Life Plans are first and foremost for the benefit of the people who live and work in the neighborhood they are made for. Everyone who has a stake in the future of the neighborhood is included and hopefully, will be actively involved. That means residents, businesses, schools, churches, and nonprofits. It means people, young and old, of any color or religion, highly educated or not, low income or high income, male or female. If you have a stake in the neighborhood's future, the plan is for you.
Who is paying for it?
The money to pay for the creation of the Quality of Life Plan comes from four sources. The City of Indianapolis, The Local Initiatives Support Corporation, The Central Indiana Community Fund and Citizens Gas. Our Councilman, Vop Osili, and Flanner House worked together to persuade these organizations to support creating a quality of life plan. In addition, a lot of unpaid work and preparation for quality of life planning was done by Flanner House. Creating a Quality of Life Plan for a neighborhood isn't free. Community meetings have to be held, notes taken, you need food and supplies. Eventually, all the things neighbors talk about are written up and published in a document and someone or many have to do all that work.
How can I get involved?
Getting involved isn't difficult and in fact, it's absolutely important that as many residents and stakeholders of our neighborhood be involved as possible. The more people provide input to the plan, the better the plan will be and the bigger our ultimate results. You get involved by attending plan meetings, providing your feedback and volunteering when you can for different activities and events associated with the plan. To find out more, contact the Community Builder, LaShawnda Crowe Storm at firstname.lastname@example.org or 317.925.4231 ext. 280.
What makes this planning process different than ones before it?
Nearly every previous community planning process in our neighborhood has been conducted without widespread resident and stakeholder involvement. The result was predictable; too few people involved, not enough ideas and no agreement on priorities. When community plans are made without giving lots of residents input, they are lower quality and don't result in much benefit for the neighborhood. Our hope is that we won't repeat this mistake. We intend to give our best effort to involving the maximum number of people we can in this process. If we are successful in this, it will set this plan apart from all the others that came before it.
Who started this and why?
Many residents of our neighborhood have been involved in quality of life planning in other neighborhoods and seen the positive things that can come from them. The idea of having one for this neighborhood has been talked about for the past couple of years. Several neighborhood organizations came together and committed to work with each other and neighborhood stakeholders to create a plan for improving our neighborhood, a plan that would be more than just words and wishes on paper, but a blueprint residents use to make a good neighborhood into a great neighborhood.
Why is it important to our community?
A quality of life plan, when well done, can be very helpful to a neighborhood in many different ways.
1It helps neighbors come to agreement on the improvements and changes in their neighborhood that are most important them and lays out a strategy for how to make those changes happen.
2It makes it easier for foundations, companies, the City and individuals outside the neighborhood to partner with the neighborhood and make resources available by giving them a roadmap to the improvements we want to make. Whether the improvement is better schools, new housing, community gardens, less crime or more out of school recreational and educational opportunities for our kids, a Quality of Life Plan helps a neighborhood make its case.
3Neighborhoods with a Quality of Life Plan that has broad neighborhood support and resident actively working on it get more resources than neighborhoods that don't.
What other neighborhoods in Indy have a QOL?
Quality of Life Plans have been created for many neighborhoods, both in Indianapolis and other cities as well. Here in Indy, the following neighborhood areas have quality of life plans.
Where is the Northwest Area QOL?
The boundaries of the Northwest Area QOL are as follows:
North: 38th street
East: MLK and the west side of I-65
South: 11th street to White River, then follow the river to 16th Street, then across until you reach Kessler
Click on the map below for more information
Update: On January 18, 2014, more than 400 neighbors and community stakeholders came together to discuss how together we will transform our neighborhood.