On one of my recent road trips for Fuller Center I had the opportunity to see the project area for the 2010 Millard Fuller Legacy Build in Indianapolis. The day was cool and clear with leaves changing to a brilliant yellow, something I don’t often get to see in Florida. The neighborhood, referred to as the Fountain Square District because in the early 1900’s there was a fountain in the roundabout of this first toll road in Indiana. The fountain was a draw and served as a drinking station for the horses. Millard would be pleased with the neighborhood. One small reason would be the names of the Streets—St. Peter, St. Paul and Churchman Avenue. Other than the names, the streets could be compared to many in urban America. Once a middle class neighborhood, years of neglect and decay have taken their toll. Many of the homes are boarded up or abandoned. Some of the old houses are too far gone to save. But other homes with a little money and dedicated volunteers can once again be a source of pride for homeowners and neighbors.
Yes, Millard would have approved of the location. He had the vision to see beyond what currently exists and see the potential. Like in the classic movie, Miracle on 34th Street, there will be a miracle on St Paul Street, St. Peter Street and Churchman Avenue. The miracle in the movie was about hope and expectations. Our real life miracle will be about reviving hope and rejuvenation to a community.
Yes, Virginia there is a Santa Claus, one could say like in the movie Miracle on 34th Street; the Central Indiana Fuller Center for Housing and partners like the Southeast Neighborhood Development and Shepherd Community Center. Along with many locals that are returning to their roots in Fountain Square to make a difference, as well as, the families living there stepping up to help. I too look forward to coming back and being part of the miracle on St. Peter Street, St. Paul Street, and Churchman Avenue.
Fuller Center for Housing
Director, US Field Operations