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. The Walgreens did not get a lot of traffic. It was not located on the corner of the intersection, and not really visible from Emerson. Meanwhile the CVS there is huge and right on the corner. I am guessing a lot of people drove by a million times and never knew the Walgreens was there. Although, with the new Walmart market going in, that area could really see a lot of increase in traffic soon.

  2. You folks don't have a clue. There is a legal way to enter this country and to get aid. This left unchecked could run us to ruin quickly. I also heard that 'supporters' were getting major $$ to take them in? Who's monitoring this and guess who pays the bill? I support charitable organizations... but this is NOT the way to do it!

  3. Apparently at some time before alcohol has been served at the fair. The problem is that beer or wine used to be a common drink for people before soft drinks and was not thought to be that unusual. Since many folks now only drink to see how much they can drink or what kind of condition they can end up in it becomes more problematic. Go to Europe and its no big deal just as if you had sodas of milk to drink everyday. Its using common sense that is lacking now days.

  4. To address the epic failure of attracting race fans to both the Indy 500 and Brickyard 400 would take too much of my time to write. Bottom line Boles is clueless and obviously totally out of touch with the real paying fan base. I see nothing but death spin coming for the Brickyard, just like Indy. Get somebody in a place of power that understands what race fans want.

  5. I am a race fan through & through. It doesn't matter if it's Indy cars or Nascar. I love a great race. I go to several other tracks each year and you can see the entire track. I know Indy has tradition, but fans want to see the entire race. I sit in the Penthouse, am almost 60 years old, and would like to see a better TV screen in turn 1 so you can see the entire race. Then I think Indy needs to install an escalator so us old folks can make it up to the Penthouse and down again if we want more options to purchase food and drinks. Just a race fans opinion. Lights won't make the race any better, but you might be able to see the TV better at night. Turn 1's screen needs replaced with a better and bigger screen.