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Community leader focuses on putting the word 'unity' back into community with new center on northeast side

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Posted at 8:40 PM, May 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-07 21:27:18-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Five years ago, Dee Ross made a goal to open a community center on the far northeast side.

"I wrote it down I even manifested it on social media that this is what I want to do one day and everything's coming together," Ross said.

Now in the heart of the community he's served since 2014, Ross, the founder of The Ross Foundation says construction will soon begin on an old daycare to transform it into The Ross Center East.

The center will be located on the corner of 42nd and Post Road in front of the Dee Ross Community Park.

"We are building our own community within our community. We are trying to lead by example. We want to build a relationship, we want to know everyone's nickname, what they like and dislike, we want to build that trust within our community," he said.

The center will offer a variety of different resources including a mental health and trauma clinic.

"We have so many barriers and challenges and disparities and this is just one step in the right direction. We are hopeful it will be a model that will be replicated," Ross said.

Upstairs there will be a vegan cafe where the community will learn to cook produce from the community garden out back. Downstairs at The Ross Center there will be a small library, an art room, a music studio and community room.

"I think this is the most imperative and vital rooms we have in our space because this community space will be where the community can gather and come together and address issues and concerns in the community," he said.

Life coaches trained on conflict resolution, mental health and trauma will be able to professionally handle situations in a peaceful manner in effort to avoid situations from getting violent.

He knows transportation will be a barrier, which is why he bought a community shuttle to transport people to the center.

Ross's goal is to open the center in July. To support The Ross Center of volunteers, click here.

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