Andrea De Mink wears many hats. She has administered the Irvington Neighbors Facebook Page nearly since its inception, where she also entertains neighbors with discussions about her electricity usage. She serves on the Historic Irvington Community Council, which holds monthly meetings and participates in events throughout the year. You can see her walking through the neighborhood almost daily. Her deepest passion, however, is in helping people.
Andrea started working with individuals experiencing homelessness 21 years ago, and in 2004, she formed The PourHouse, Inc., a nonprofit organization that assists individuals experiencing homelessness in overcoming barriers to housing, treatment, and healthcare. The inspiration started with a chance encounter. While running her own IT business downtown, she met and befriended an individual who was digging through the trash for food. She devoted time and energy to knowing his goals and the goals of others in similar situations. When she realized how passionate she felt about helping others, she started the organization that, to date, has housed nearly 300 individuals since 2014.
The PourHouse feeds an average of 250 individuals twice per week, but can see numbers as high as 400 some evenings. During the week, she and her team of dedicated volunteers work to address her clients’ broad range of needs.
In January, Andrea was recognized as a Champion of Diversity by the Indiana Minority Business Magazine. And with the help of her local supporters, The PourHouse received the Indiana Members Credit Union Gives Back donation of $6,000.
How long have you lived and/or worked here in Irvington?
Andrea has lived in Irvington for over 15 years. She rented at New York and Emerson for 5 years. “I knew I wanted to stay on the east side and loved the old houses in Irvington.”
What do you do for fun?
Andrea enjoys landscaping, taking care of her koi, and anything that relates to animals, nature, walking, or biking. She is a Certified Koi Keeper, which means she has been trained to sedate and inject koi, then later revive them. She discovered through her training, when her koi become ill, how they can be treated and brought back to good health.
What’s your favorite walk, bike ride, block, or view in the neighborhood?
Andrea likes to walk nearly every day for her own health. She favors her path from Lowell to Kitley, Pleasant Run to Layman. She also likes to change up the view by going through Ellenberger Park, down 9th Street to Arlington.
If you were Mayor of Irvington for a day, what would you do first?
If Andrea were Mayor of Irvington for a day, she would “remove the parking spots in front of Ossip so you can see to pull out onto East Washington and not die.”
What’s your connection to IDO?
As an active member of the Public Safety Committee for the Historic Irvington Community Council, Andrea works closely with IDO on decisions that affect the individuals, families, and businesses of Irvington.
Irvington Green Initiative just kicked off the Resilient Community Building series with a meet-up at Bittersweet on January 28. The group focused on renewability via community recycling and composting. About 30 Irvington neighbors enjoyed communing over Laura Johnston’s light appetizers.
If you missed the meet-up, here’s something you can do right now. Call Mayor Joe Hogsett (317-327-3601) and your City-County Council rep (for many of us, it’s Blake Johnson, District 12, at 317-721-3487). Let them know you want a comprehensive, sustainable materials management plan and curbside service for all of Indianapolis!
Then, be sure to like and follow Irvington Green Initiative on Facebook for neighborhood info, ideas, and action opportunities. Contact us at email@example.com to get on our e-list for future notices.
There’s much more to Irvington than what we find on the Washington Street corridor. In an effort to highlight those off-the-beaten-path treasures, we’ve created signage that points the way to shops, parks, and trails. IDO’s Public Spaces Committee worked with Lodge Design, who provided the design based on the Irvington logo colors for free. The city manufactured and installed the signs. One sign is installed at the intersection of Washington Street and Audubon Road, and the other is installed at Washington Street and Ritter Avenue.
“The Public Spaces Committee realized that Irvington was becoming a destination, and we needed to do something to help our visitors find parts of the neighborhood that they might miss if they just stay on Washington Street,” said Erika Hinshaw, IDO’s Public Spaces Committee chair.
We thank DPW and Lodge Design for producing and installing the signs.
We have two announcements about the street lights included in IDO’s Streetscape project that has revitalized our Washington Street business corridor with infrastructure improvements, additional lighting and landscaping, and bike racks. IDO is responsible for paying the light bill for the 30 street lights, which costs $12,000 annually.
NAP tax credits reward donors. IDO’s tax credit allocation to help donors to the street lights fund has been extended. It’s a great way for you to help the Streetscape stay bright, clean, and green while also saving some green on your taxes. The state offers Neighborhood Assistance Program (NAP) tax credits to individuals and businesses who donate to eligible programs, including the Streetscape.
For the next two months, up to $1,158 in donations to the street lights fund are eligible for a direct credit against the taxpayer’s state tax liability up to 50% of the donation amount. The minimum donation is $100 and it must be made before March 31, 2017. So for a $100 donation, you can take $50 off what you owe in state taxes. You can also claim the full $100 as a deduction on your federal taxes if you itemize, further lowering your out-of-pocket costs. For more information on how you can help the Streetscape and save money, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
HICC pledges an annual donation. At its January meeting, Historic Irvington Community Council voted in favor of supporting streetscape maintenance with an annual $2,000 contribution to the street light fund. That’s five streetlights and 17% of the bill! Thanks especially to council Vice President Mike Spilbeler, who introduced the donation to the council for approval.
At its February 1, 2017 hearing, IHPC advised Coal Yard developers to rework their application for a certificate of appropriateness for the Bonna Avenue property. The commission asked developers to reconsider architectural style and landscaping for the site. The City of Indianapolis videotapes these hearings and posts them publicly online.
The site proposal in the application incorporated suggestions that Irvington neighbors contributed during the past four months in community meetings, emails and phone calls, and face-to-face meetings with the developers and IDO staff and board members.
Developers will resubmit the application, and the commission will hear the case on April 5, 2017 at 5:30 p.m. in the public assembly room at the City-County building. Indianapolis Historic Preservation Commission (IHPC) holds design and zoning jurisdiction over 12 designated historic districts to preserve the character and fabric of historically significant areas and structures.