The Neighbor Relief Fund of Marion County – summary of impact


The Neighbor Relief Fund of Marion County (NRF) was created in April of 2020 and has been managed with fluidity given the rapidly evolving nature of the pandemic. The fund is aligned with CICF’s equity goals, is resident-engaged, and prioritizes neighborhood-based, grassroots organizations that are serving under-appreciated neighborhoods and/or communities of color, including seniors, with programs that are easily accessible and provide meaningful relief to residents during this critical time of need.

The Neighbor Relief Fund uses a resident-informed grantmaking model that supports under-appreciated communities and vulnerable populations in gaining access to the resources they say that they need. Grantmaking staff works collaboratively with CICF Community Ambassadors, and leverages community relationships in a shared-power model that prioritized listening to residents and treating them with dignity and respect.

The fund raised more than $1.2 million and received approximately 150 proposals with more than $4 million requested. Thus far, there have been 51 total NRF grantees (many being first-time applicants across all CICF funds) with $1,116,420 in grant dollars awarded. Of all dollars deployed, approximately 80% have been dedicated to providing direct relief to residents, including seniors, in the form of rent/utility assistance, prescription drug costs, medical expenses, transportation credits, food access, and income supports – with very few dollars utilized for organizational administrative costs or overhead.


The primary driver behind NRF is to work with neighborhood-based service providers to target resources to the communities most impacted by COVID-19 – which also happen to be the same communities that are challenged by high-percentages of residents with low socioeconomic status, low-income seniors, low educational attainment, poor public health outcomes, and poor rates of public safety.

Understanding that these issues compound on themselves and that income is a significant indicator of many quality of life metrics, NRF targeted the following zip codes:

  • 46201 (Near Eastside, 34% poverty rate)
  • 46208 (Riverside, Clifton, 39% poverty rate)
  • 46218 (Martindale-Brightwood, 33% poverty rate)
  • 46220 (Avondale Meadows, 42% poverty rate)
  • 46222 (Near Westside, 36% poverty rate)
  • 46226 (Forest-Manor, Devin, approx. 20% poverty rate)
  • 46235 (Far Eastside, 29% poverty rate)
  • 46260 (Crooked Creek, 26% poverty rate).

To date, the following indicates the geography and frequency of where NRF grants have been made:

  • 46201: six grants made
  • 46208: six grants made
  • 46218: three grants made
  • 46220: one grant made
  • 46222: one grant made
  • 46226: two grants made
  • 46235: nine grants made

These grants equate to 28, or 54% of the 51 total grants made to-date. The total investment of these 28 grants has been $702,120, or 60%, of the total $1,166,420 granted. It is worth noting that several total grants were made to support city-wide services that served residents from multiple high-needs areas. Additionally, of the zip codes identified, all of which, with the exception of 46222, are represented at CICF by a Community Ambassador, or resident leader, who CICF staff work with to verify needs and make informed, targeted investment decisions for the maximum support of residents in their neighborhoods.

Marion County Neighborhood Coronavirus Risk Level Map

Marion County Neighborhood Coronavirus Risk Level Map

As we now know as a result of the SAVI Coronavirus Database, the same neighborhoods most impacted by COVID-19 are also those that are experiencing severe challenges in other areas like public safety, public health, income, and educational attainment. Included here is the Marion County Neighborhood Coronavirus Risk Level Map, which uses age, race and socioeconomic status as primary indicators of risk. The areas in gold are those that are most at-risk of the damaging health and economic consequences of COVID-19 and are also synonymous with the NRF zip codes of interest listed above.

According to the data, age-related risk is more geographically diverse in Indianapolis than other indicators. Areas in northern Marion County have high estimated rates of cancer and have older populations. The Martindale-Brightwood and Meadows neighborhoods (northeast of downtown) have high estimated rates of heart disease and some pockets of older populations. The Far Eastside and the Far Southside (near U.S. 31 and County Line Road) also have high-risk populations according to the age-related risk factors.

HISTORY of grants made through Neighbor Relief Fund
Another Vegan Journey, LLC Care Bag Deliveries to African American Families and Seniors in Need $10,000
Black Nurses Association of Indianapolis Direct Assistance & Operating Support $15,000
Brothers United BU Wellness Network $20,000
Camptown Senior Food Support $4,200
Center of Wellness for Urban Women Connection 4 Wellness Program $5,500
Community Assets Inc. Expanding Learning/Urban Youth Entrepreneur Academy $25,000
Constructing Our Future (no FA yet) COVID Emergency Support $35,000
Domestic Violence Network Outreach & COVID Intervention $25,000
Dotted Line Divas Support for Personal Care Pantry Services $5,000
Englewood CDC Tenant Supports $16,500
Englewood Christian Church Housing for 1st responders and direct assistance to neighbors $32,750
Faith Hope Love Community, Inc. Faith Hope Love Community, Inc. $25,000
Father’s Foundation Support Services to Martindale-Brightwood $22,400
Felege Hiywot Center Youth Farm Program $25,000
Fervent Prayer Clean4Green Support $15,600
Franciscan Health Foundation Chin Center Food Box Partnership $10,000
Girls Inc. COVID-19 Support for Girls $20,500
Gospel Excellence Ministries Refuge Place $34,300
Grassroots Projects Direct Assistance for Immigrant Children & Their Families $30,000
Groundwork Indy Community Engagement & Outreach Initiative $35,000
Haitian Association of Indiana Hatian Community Services $15,500
He Cares Inc. Youth Helping Seniors $8,000
He Cares Inc. Youth Helping Seniors $35,000
Indiana Undocumented Youth Alliance (IUYA) Undocumented Resident Support $35,000
Indiana Women in Need Foundation Pink Portions Program $15,120
Indy Food Network Fresh Produce Distributions $20,000
Indy10 – Black Lives Matter (Kheprw Institute as Fiscal) Black Lives Matter $35,000
Irvington Presbyterian Church N/A $5,000
Keeping Families Connected Connecting Families $12,000
La Plaza Direct Assitance Support $35,000
Laundry & More Laundry & More Operations & Community Services Connections $20,000
Lawrence Community Garden Youth Workers in Gardens to Increase Food Supply $10,000
LYN House Resident Support $5,000
Martin Center, Inc. COVID-19 Client Relief Fund $23,079
Miracle Place, Inc. Miracle Place, Inc. $33,120
MLM Trip Healthy Harvest Market Support $31,500
NAMI of Greater Indianapolis COVID-19 Education & Community Support $30,000
No Questions Asked Food Pantry Purchasing Food for Pantry Distribution $35,000
Project 2322 dba Brandywine Creek Farms Healthy Harvest Market Support $35,000
SOW One Foundation Promoting Literacy, Summer Reading, & Creative Writing $1,440
St. Florian Center Food & Household Support $15,000
Stop The Violence N/A $35,000
The Kween Project Trauma-Informed Care during COVID-19 $35,000
The Never Alone Project Harm Reduction and COVID Relief $35,000
The Ross Foundation Tenant Rights Union Organizing $25,000
United Northeast Community Development Corporation COVID related needs on the northeast side of Indianapolis $18,250
Unto Him Ministries, Inc. Unto Him Ministries $35,000
VOICES Basic Needs Assistance $35,000
We Bloom Recovery Café Virtual Café Connections $17,500
Westminster Neighborhood Services Basic Needs Support $35,000
Westside CDC Tenant Supports $29,800
TOTAL    $1,167,059

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