Recovery program receives large housing donation

January 16, 2014
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The Progress House has been providing residential assistance to recovering alcoholics and drug addicts in Indianapolis for more than 50 years. But the not-for-profit has never received a donation quite like the one given to it by a local commercial real estate firm.

Van Rooy Progress
                              House apartments 225pxVan Rooy Properties has contributed a two-building apartment complex on the city’s east side that will enable Progress House to expand the number of beds it provides from 75 to 123. The property on North Bolton Avenue, tucked between Emerson and Arlington avenues on a dead-end street, is valued at $950,000.

“Our population is wide-ranging” said Tadd Whallon, the organization’s director of development. “We literally have people who have lived on the streets for years, and we have re-entries (from incareration). And then we have doctors, lawyers and businesspeople. Some of them don’t have anything to go back to.”

In addition to the apartment buildings, Van Rooy contributed $90,000 for operational costs.    

The donation is the single largest in the Progress House’s history, Whallon said.

The organization is located at 201 S. Shelby St. on the city’s near-southeast side in a facility that was built in 2001. Progress House had wanted to launch a capital campaign to raise money to build more transitional housing but has been hampered by the economy.

“It really just fell in our lap,” Whallon said of Van Rooy’s donation. “It’s pretty amazing.”

One of the apartment buildings on Bolton Avenue will be used for transitional housing and the other for permanent housing. Residents pay rent, and Progress House helps them find jobs.

The apartment buildings donated by Van Rooy formerly served the Beacon House, another transitional housing program that is no longer in existence.

  • Great...
    Now they don't have to deal with the building and tenants, and we'll have more riff-raff on the east side. Thanks a lot...
    • Read the article...
      This is not a NEW use for these buildings..."The apartment buildings donated by Van Rooy formerly served the Beacon House, another transitional housing program that is no longer in existence"
    • Read before comment
      If you would have read the article you would have seen that the apartments were already being used at transitional housing by another not for profit so it won't be adding more "riff-raff". On another note I hope you never find yourself in a situation where you need help and if you do I hope you are shown more compassion than you are showing these people.
    • They get results
      The sober-living environment Progress House creates allows miracles to happen. Hundreds of men have learned to deal with the challenges life throws at you, the good and bad, without taking drugs or drinking to handle it. So awesome to hear this!
      • More humanity requested
        WOW... homeless people are considered "riff raff"? Perhaps, you should try walking a mile in their shoes and see how you end up. This sounds like a phenomenal program that works to rehabilitate the so called "throw aways" you speak of mad east-sider. Perhaps you should move to a less diverse side of town if you are not willing to embrace ALL its residents.
      • A benevolent private corporation?
        Didn't Van Rooy get the memo that private corporations are all mean-spirited entities who seek to destroy peoples' lives for profit? While government politicians are handing out millions in subsidies to their campaign donors and dividing people with silly social issues, this private company is changing lives and touching hearts. Good for Van Rooy.
      • A little compassion goes far sometimes
        Wow..., have you no compassion Mad East Sider? It's a shame really that so many people feel the way you do. I'm a retired soldier who suffers from PTSD and have had my share of difficulties. I'm truly grateful for the people that have helped my life become more positive. There are so many people that need help and I applaud companies that give back and try to help those in need. Sometimes people go through hard times. We should all be good neighbors and show a little bit more compassion and humility and do what we can to help. Like someone posted earlier, try walking in their shoes and come back here and see if your opinion doesn't change. Hopefully some day you will understand that not everyone has such a simple, perfect life.
      • Provides Opportunity
        Unfortunately, many people have similar views to those made by Mad East-Sider. Recovering from alcoholism and/or addiction is not an easy road. Most stumble several times and those stumbles are not always pretty, I should know. I am a recovering addict who was once homeless and penniless. I stole, lied and cheated. I personally did not go through Progress House during my recovery, but did go through a similar organization. I have also helped many who have gone through Progress House. They do good work and are a worthy organization. What I find humorous with comments like Mad East-Sider's is that I had lived near an organization similar to Progress House at one time and was completely unaware of it. Virtually no one in the area even knew that was what they were. Now that I do know, it is ironic that it seemed to be one of the better apartment communities with respect to "riff-raff" compared to any of the other apartment communities in that area. Today, thanks to organizations like Progress House and Van Rooy Properties out there, I am a happy, taxpaying citizen. I have gone from being a blight on society and a drain on my fellow citizens, to being a productive individual able to give back to those in need. People with views like Mad East-Sider are always going to be out there on any issue. Fortunately there are more people like Van Rooy Properties than the Mad East-Siders, it just doesn't always seem like it.
      • Progress House saves lives
        I'm very grateful for places like The Progress House. It saved my life when I was dying in the streets with no direction.I'm now a productive member of society, helping others that's been where I have, to recover. The Progress House has saved many peoples lives over the last 50 years. It's a blessing to to have an organization like Progress House in this community.
      • Homeless women
        They've added about 30 women to the homeless population in Indianapolis with this transaction as Beacon House was a co-ed facility and will not be under Progress House management. They were served a 30 day notice to vacate the property
      • Compassionate Action
        The American Medical Association supports and has defined alcoholism and addiction as a mental and physical disease not a moral disease sir Mad East-Sider. The World Health Organization estimates about 140 million people suffer from alcoholism and it does not discriminate (these are mothers, fathers, grandparents, doctors, congressmen, scientists, teachers, actors, or even the riff-raff appearing 21 year old kid that just informed you you dropped your wallet). Here's something that usually gets the attention of sociopathic folks: UNtreated alcoholism costs this country (businesses included) about $184 billion dollars a year. Thank goodness there are compassionate and empathetic people like the Van Rooys to give when they can and they did it without prejudice or much recognition. Giving people like us a chance to turn our life around is nothing short of a miracle. And if I may suggest, the 12 Step program of Alcoholics Anonymous is a design for living to improve the quality of life and works not just for us in recovery but for close-minded east siders as well.
      • Not true, John
        John, while I appreciate your concern, your statements are simply not true. I was living at the Beacon House during this transition. While change is hard on everybody, it has ultimately been a good thing. We were informed of the transition in November 2013. Both the Beacon House and Progress House staff have been very supportive in helping to find placement for me and the other women. We were actually given until the end of March to work with the staff on finding appropriate placement. There are still women over there being transitioned to one of the women's facilities in the area. To be honest, having men and women at the same facility seemed to be a distraction to a lot of people in early recovery. I have heard that the Progress House intends on adding a women's facility in the future at a separate location.
      • Not another!
        Look, we all understand that this is a needed service -- but enough already on the East side! No, this isn't "not in my back yard" it's "not in my back yard, side yard, front yard and front porch!". Every social program, homeless program, halfway house, prison, etc. has has their facilities on the East side. Enough already!
        • Woeful
          Another Mad East Sider, as was said above, this is NOT ANOTHER facility. It was a half-way house before! It is continuing as a half-way house. Would you rather have another vacant apartment complex - section 8 perhaps with a lot of tenants suffering from untreated alcoholism? Or a place like Progress House where people are being treated for alcoholism, stay sober, and if they don't, will be kicked out. You are making statements without looking at the facts. You are also judging by the old-fashioned and completely outdated and misunderstood view of alcoholics and other addicts. It hits everyone - "high" class, "low" class, and in between. I live on the east side - recently moved here from north. I am a recovering alcoholic too. Frankly, just by living here, it seems alcoholism is a bigger problem on this side of town than any other. And it has a need for facilities such as this. Yes, it IS a "not-in-my-backyard" mentality with you. People like you just don't get it. If you ever have a problem with addiction, you will understand.
          • I do get it, and I stand by my statements
            Bob, You know nothing about my knowledge or experience with alcoholism, alcoholics or addiction - thank you very much. I stand by my statement. The eastside has been very accepting of all kinds of people and the result is that we have been the dumping ground for every type of social program. Many (not all) of these programs are worthy of support -- but they need to stop locating them on the east side. I'm waiting to hear that the new Justice Center will be located on the East side as well.
          • Please HELP me somebody
            I have been beatten and will be beatten tonight I need help nowhere to go no money to get there if I had a place to go I need help all shelters are full,do even have away out of town please help me......Charlotte Cowherd 3176796888

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