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Fifth Third Bank to invest $20 million into Arlington Woods neighborhood

Fifth Third Bank settles US discrimination claim
Posted at 9:41 PM, Oct 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-21 00:01:54-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Major improvements are on the way for one east-side neighborhood.

Fifth Third Bank has announced a $20 million investment into the Arlington Woods community. It's part of a three-year partnership with Eastern Star Church.

"We need it," said Susanne Lacroxi. "People over here desperately need that food source and feel like we are part of Indianapolis."

Lacroxi says the Arlington Woods community has been neglected for years, but this initiative gives her hope that the area will be revitalized.

"It needs to be brought up more," she said. "You can see it on the north, the south, and even on the west side, but on the east side we lack a lot of nice places to go to, like shopping. That would bring this place up."

The Arlington Woods neighborhood is one of nine predominantly Black communities across the country that will be impacted by this investment project. Fifth Third Bank said it will invest in the community through loans, grants, and support.

About $18 million will go towards affordable housing, mortgages, and more.

Lacroxi says the biggest thing that is needed in the area is a grocery store.

"We need grocery stores, there is no food supply," she said. "I start my food pantry in the winter, in the hallway to help people because it's hard for people who don't have cars to get to the grocery store."

Eastern Star, they have a pantry over there and everything, you are not going to get everything you want to," Mari Hewlett, a community caregiver explained.

She echoes the importance of bringing the area out of a food desert and bringing life back into the area.

"There are still people that need to go shopping, go to Family Dollar, Dollar Tree, whatever," Hewlett said. "It would be great. It would probably stop a lot of stealing. We do have issues around here, drugs, stuff like that, so this would probably benefit the community by bringing people up and adding jobs that would be closer for people to go to."