Group wants to turn empty building into a community center

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Derris Ross sees opportunity in a vacant building.

The structure in question is the old Menards building on the 6800 block of Pendleton Pike. The company recently closed the home improvement store and built a new location just east of I-465.

Since the move, the structure has stayed empty.

Ross who is the founder of the Ross Foundation, would like to turn the massive building into a community center.

“The community is supportive, we did a petition we raised five thousand signatures,” said Ross.

The Ross Foundation is a non-profit group designed to help low income families, provide activities for youth, and decrease criminal activity.

Recently the group received a crime prevention grant through Central Indiana Community Foundation, for empowering residents to speak out against crime on the city’s east side.

Ross is now focusing his attention on raising money to purchase the building. He estimates it will cost $5 million to purchase the property. He started a fundraising campaign on his website. While in campaigning mode, he will have a peace walk.

The walk is designed to draw awareness to criminal activity, but also Ross wants to use the walk as a way to connect with people letting them know about possible resources available to improve their lives.

“I’m the perfect example of hope,” said Ross. “I grew up on 42nd and Post Road, and I changed my life I did a complete 360 all the way around.”

The walk will take place on Saturday June 10, at 12 p.m. on 38th Street and Franklin Road and will end at 38th Street and Post Road.

If you would like to learn more about the Ross Foundation click here.

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