Community Development Block Grant
Success Stories

New Albany, IN - Mayor Douglas B. England

Brown-Starks Neighborhood Place

In early 1994, the Floyd County STEP AHEAD Council approached the New Albany Redevelopment Commission for assistance in developing a public service facility that would bring together a variety of service providers in a centrally located facility. The Commission expanded this proposed concept, examining the feasibility of building several such facilities that would target the needs of the inner city population. In September of that year, the Commission adopted the findings of a CDBG-funded study which identified opportunities to develop co-location centers in the City. This study determined that the City could accommodate and support three or more centers.

Working with a core group of more than 20 public service providers, the Commission and the STEP AHEAD Council developed a plan for the first center, to be built on a site identified in the CDBG study and owned by the New Albany Housing Authority. Three principal services and populations were targeted: day care for children of low-income families in the neighborhood; GED and job training programs for neighborhood residents; and programs for the physically and mentally disabled. Two groups of public service providers were involved: those that provided capital for construction, and those that committed to providing at least a minimum level of services through the center.

The Redevelopment Commission and other participating agencies and organizations created the Neighborhood Public Service Center Development Corporation as a 501(c)(3) organization to develop the center and accept donations and other funds for its construction and furnishing. The non-profit Corporation negotiated all contracts for the project and acted as grantee for several awards related to it. The Redevelopment Commission provided $345,390 in CDBG funds to pay approximately half of the construction cost. Rauch Rehabilitation and Development Services, the New Albany-Floyd County Consolidated School Corporation, and the Interfaith Community Council each raised $115,000 in matching funds to be used for both construction and furnishings. NBD Bank provided gap financing of $120,000 through a low-interest loan.

The 10,000-square-foot Brown-Starks Neighborhood Place, named for two locally-renowned educators, was built on a parcel of land located between the City's largest public housing project and an elementary school which was donated by the Housing Authority. Construction began in October 1997 and was completed in July 1988.

Several agencies now operate programs in the facility: The Interfaith Community Council operates a child care program; the New Albany-Floyd County Consolidated School Corporation provides pre-school and parent support programs; Rauch Rehabilitation and Developmental Services provides developmental pre-school, parent support and employment service programs; LifeSpring Mental Heath offers counseling services; the Floyd County Department of Family and Children provides case support programs; the South Central Indiana Council for the Aging and Aged operates senior service programs; the Dare to Care/Kids Café provides youth educational outreach and meal services; and other agencies have a limited presence there.

Because more than one-third of the low- and moderate-income population of New Albany has no access to an automobile, lack of transportation is a major challenge for Neighborhood Place. Work with the Transit Authority of the River Cities, however, is producing solutions to transportation problems: bus routes have been altered to focus on home-to-work routes, and vans and buses owned by service providers may be used to enhance the City's transportation services to the target population.

Contact: Carl E. Malysz, Director, New Albany Redevelopment Commission, (812) 948-5333

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The United States Conference of Mayors

J. Thomas Cochran, Executive Director
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