INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis city officials and local organizations are continuing to search for solutions to violence, and now one group is focusing on specific areas of the city that are hit the hardest.
The Indy Peace fellowship is pouring resources into three different zip codes — 46218, 46208 and 46201.
“The main goal of the initiative is to give the community support,” Shardae Hoskins, Lead Program Manager with the Indy Peace Fellowship, said. “We look at violence as a system of other issues.”
Providing resources to help solve those issues and reduce violence is what Hoskins is aiming to do with the organization.
Those three zip codes have been seeing the highest rates of gun violence in the city recently.
“Everybody is impacted by gun violence, but some communities are more impacted than others,” Hoskins explained. “In 46218, the criminal homicides or murders are almost doubled than any other zip code for the 2023 calendar year.”
The plan takes a 90-day approach with boots on the ground.
“The first 30 days we spend in the community, talking with residents and businesses. In the second 30 days we start implanting those resources, connecting them with people who need it,” Hoskins said. “Then it all comes together in the third 30 days where we host some type of big community event.”
This is a push one 46208 resident feels is necessary.
“Ultimately, it’s everybody in the neighborhood’s responsibility to do their part but it’s nice to know the initiative is going to try to make change and peace,” Shennea Dixon said.
Although Hoskins says they are seeing the impact of their outreach with the city reporting a decrease in criminal homicides and non-fatal shootings from 2022 to 2023, she still believes their work is far from over.
“It doesn’t seem like it but there is still a lot of shootings happening and a lot of work to get done,” Hoskins added.
Hoskins says the next step in their mission is to bring on a youth coordinator to help find solutions to teen violence and provide more resources for young people.