INDIANAPOLIS — A community magazine is working to create a new image for a community that has been hard hit by crime and poverty. The Editor and Chief of "Indy Far East Magazine," Dennis Jarrett, told WRTV's Amber Grigley that it's about telling a better story than what's been shared about the far east side.
"If nobody's going to tell the story, then we're going to tell the story,” Jarrett said.
A message made loud and clear, allowing Hoosiers to see the far east side beyond the imperfect headlines.
"It's really painful to see that the far east side is being kind of washed with one paintbrush of negativity," Jarret said.
Jarrett said the idea to start "Indy Far East" magazine came to him after receiving a community-based magazine in the mail.
"I found out that Carmel had an edition, Kokomo had an edition, Avon had an edition, Fishers, Geist had an edition, Center Grove. When I got to the far east side, nothing," Jarrett said.
Jarrett went to work, creating a similar magazine for the far east side to make residents proud.
"There's a lot of great things going on. There are a lot of positive people not only working and enhancing the quality of life on the far east side, but I can't even tell you the number of people who came out of the far east side doing great things, not just in the city, and state, but across the nation," said Jarrett.
"For me personally, it means a lot. I am from the east side. Grew up in 46226," Kendra Nowell, CEO of C.A.F.E. said.
Nowell was featured in the July edition of "Indy Far East" magazine. Her organization café, community alliance on the far east side, has been helping the community thrive for 25 years.
"We serve as a community hub to other organizations. We offer wrap-around services for residents of the far east side, and we do all kinds of community events to bring the community together," Nowell said.
Nowell said C.A.F.E. poured 11 million dollars towards rental assistance for residents who were hit hard by the pandemic.
A gesture Jarrett hopes will spark a new narrative for the community.
"It is our hope that we can increase from 4,000 copies to 6,000 copies. From 6,00 copies to 10,000 copies. We'd like to see this free magazine in every household on the far east side," Jarrett said.
Jarrett also serves as the communications director for Warren Township Schools. The district's superintendent helped provide financial assistance for the first four months of the magazine's run.
Jarrett said he's now looking for more community partners to help keep it going.