At F.C. Tucker we talk a lot about “paying our civic rent,” so for the month of November, we would like to express our gratitude to the many organizations and individuals who serve their communities tirelessly and make Indiana a better place to live and work. We obviously can’t highlight everyone, but we would like to salute these 30 organizations that are making a difference.
30 Days of Thanksgiving – Day 12: Horizon House
Horizon House is an organization with a simple belief — that “all human beings have the right to have their basic needs for food, clothing, shelter, and personal safety met in a dignified, humane and caring manner that respects a person’s right to self-determination.”
Horizon House has a rich history starting in 1987 when the Homeless Network of Indianapolis partnered with organizations like United Way/Community Service Council, the City of Indianapolis, and the Office of the Mayor. Their goal was to identify ways to address the homelessness problem in Indianapolis. As a priority, a facility with daytime services for the homeless was initiated, and in 1988, the Indianapolis Day Center opened. It became known as Horizon House when it shifted to independent management in 1994.
Horizon House has been fortunate to gain support from many in the community. Funding from Lilly Endowment Inc., Central Indiana Community Foundation, United Way of Central Indiana, Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the AmeriCorps program allowed Horizon House to purchase their facility as well as extend hours and programming in 2001.
The number one reason for homelessness is job loss. Many people struggle to find a new job and may not have a strong support system to help out. Horizon House is there as an uplifting resource to empower people to find their way out of homelessness. It is currently “the only secular resource center in Indianapolis that provides across-the-board services – on site and on the street – to help all people who are homeless build more stable, secure lives.”
In 2016, Horizon House welcomed 3,373 homeless individuals, which they call “neighbors”. Their neighbors are given access to everyday needs that other shelters may not offer, such as showers, laundry, phones, and mail. What also sets Horizon House apart is that they get to know their neighbors to learn their goals. They are then provided the guidance and resources needed to help get them where they need to be.
In addition to these everyday needs, Horizon House also provides much more such as support and assistance to overcome barriers to finding housing for themselves and their families. Some of these services include street outreach, housing relocation and support programs, as well as employment training. The employment training, known as Opportunity Knocks (OK) is a program that provides neighbors training to learn skills such as creating a resume, interviewing skills, and managing stress. The training is succeeding and growing — In June 2017, 152 neighbors completed an Employment Assessment, which was 20% more than 2016.
Horizon House also collaborates with partner agencies to further implement ways to serve the needs of their homeless neighbors. Eskenazi Health Pedigo is able to provide access to health care services for both mental and medical needs. Indiana Legal Services provides legal consultation for civil legal issues. Other partners are also available for additional needs.
On their website, you’ll find many other inspiring ways that Horizon House is welcoming their homeless neighbors and helping to provide a path out of homelessness – with hospitality, dignity and respect.