Together we can reduce homelessness

December 4, 2010
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IBJ Letters To The Editor

Each day, hundreds of homeless men and women pass through the doors of Horizon House, the only agency in central Indiana that provides homeless neighbors with access to the services of a unique collaboration of partners—all under one roof.

Our agency has a proven track record of delivering outcome-related and measurable results. Last year, in the midst of an unprecedented economic downtown that has touched nearly every Hoosier, we provided job readiness training for more than 240 homeless neighbors and helped many of them gain employment paying a true living wage. We secured safe housing for 141 neighbors. Serving 3,150 individuals in 2009, we are on pace for a 23-percent increase in demand for our services by the end of 2010.

Despite our successes, we are not unlike other not-for-profits that have been affected by the economy. Contributions from individuals and foundations are down. Due to continuing shifts in priorities by public and private sources, more dollars now flow to direct-assistance programs than to the critical services we offer. We expect this trend to continue.

That’s why we’ve taken proactive steps to strategically redeploy our resources so we can continue meeting the needs of our neighbors, while delivering high-quality services in a cost-effective way. We’re reducing our hours and adding to our street-outreach initiative. After much deliberation, we made the very difficult decision to reduce our staffing level.

We are making every effort to minimize the impact of these changes on the people we serve, as well as the businesses in our community. We selected closing on Saturdays and in the evenings because services by our co-located partners are not available during those times. The majority of clients who visit on Saturdays also visit during the week. Collaborative case management is done on weekdays when other service providers are open for business. We are not eliminating any programming.

We remain steadfast in our commitment to maintain a safe environment in and around our Washington Street facility. Our focus on safety will continue, especially as we move toward the Super Bowl in 2012. We welcome your involvement in these efforts.

The impact of homelessness is very real in our city. It will take all of us—businesses, elected officials, service-providers as well as foundations and individuals—to come together and find solutions to this complex and challenging issue.


John Joanette
Executive director
Horizon House


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  1. Socialized medicine works great for white people in Scandanavia. It works well in Costa Rica for a population that is partly white and partly mestizo. I don't really see Obamacare as something aimed against whites. I think that is a Republican canard designed to elicit support from white people for republican candidates who don't care about them any more than democrats care about the non-whites they pander to with their phony maneuvers. But what is different between Costa Rica nd the Scandanavian nations on one hand and the US on the other? SIZE. Maybe the US is just too damn big. Maybe it just needs to be divided into smaller self governing pieces like when the old Holy Roman Empire was dismantled. Maybe we are always trying the same set of solutions for different kinds of people as if we were all the same. Oh-- I know-- that is liberal dogma, that we are all the same. Which is the most idiotic American notion going right back to the propaganda of 1776. All men are different and their differences are myriad and that which is different is not equal. The state which pretends men are all the same is going to force men to be the same. That is what America does here, that is what we do in our stupid overseas wars, that is how we destroy true diversity and true difference, and we are all as different groups of folks, feeling the pains of how capitalism is grinding us down into equally insignificant proletarian microconsumers with no other identity whether we like it or not. And the Marxists had this much right about the War of Independence: it was fundamentally a war of capitalist against feudal systems. America has been about big money since day one and whatever gets in the way is crushed. Health care is just another market and Obamacare, to the extent that it Rationalizes and makes more uniform a market which should actually be really different in nature and delivery from place to place-- well that will serve the interests of the biggest capitalist stakeholders in health care which is not Walmart for Gosh Sakes it is the INSURANCE INDUSTRY. CUI BONO Obamacare? The insurance industry. So republicans drop the delusion pro capitalist scales from your eyes this has almost nothing to do with race or "socialism" it has to do mostly with what the INSURANCE INDUSTRY wants to have happen in order to make their lives and profits easier.

  2. Read the article - the reason they can't justify staying is they have too many medicare/medicaid patients and the re-imbursements for transporting these patient is so low.

  3. I would not vote for Bayh if he did run. I also wouldn't vote for Pence. My guess is that Bayh does not have the stomach to oppose persons on the far left or far right. Also, outside of capitalizing on his time as U. S. Senator (and his wife's time as a board member to several companies) I don't know if he is willing to fight for anything. If people who claim to be in the middle walk away from fights with the right and left wing, what are we left with? Extremes. It's probably best for Bayh if he does not have the stomach for the fight but the result is no middle ground.

  4. JK - I meant that the results don't ring true. I also questioned the 10-year-old study because so much in the "health care system" has changed since the study was made. Moreover, it was hard to get to any overall conclusion or observation with the article. But....don't be defensive given my comments; I still think you do the best job of any journalist in the area shedding light and insight on important health care issues.

  5. Probably a good idea he doesn't run. I for one do not want someone who lives in VIRGINIA to be the governor. He gave it some thought, but he likes Virginia too much. What a name I cannot say on this site! The way these people think and operate amuses me.