FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
What Does a Stay at Home Order Mean for Those Who Have No Home?
Horizon House Makes Adjustments to Fill Gaps That Only They Can
INDIANAPOLIS – April 12, 2020 – When Governor Holcomb’s Executive Order came into effect on March 24, Horizon House, central Indiana’s full-service agency connecting neighbors experiencing homelessness with integrated support services was ready. A plan to serve had already been implemented. This plan was for a unique group of Indianapolis citizens that Horizon House regularly serves. These two demographics are the over 180 individuals recently housed in the permanent supportive housing programs and individuals on the street who are not in one of the city’s shelters.
In early March, Executive Director of Horizon House, Teresa Wessel, began working with program staff and leaders within the organization to chart a path forward that kept her staff safe, but also allowed many in need of life-sustaining services to continue to be served. On March 12, all volunteering was suspended to minimize the number of people in the facility. The housing team shifted from daily being out in the community at people’s homes, to a once a week food delivery and daily phone calls with those they serve. The intensive case management services were needed now more than ever as individuals in the program have complex medical and mental health needs.
The logistics of how to serve the unsheltered were a bit more complex. There is demographic of individuals experiencing homelessness who never seek shelter or only do so during the most extreme weather conditions. The reasons are as unique as the individuals, but one of Horizon House’s core values is their commitment to working with these individuals. Many in our community have no other resources to meet their basic human needs aside from Horizon House.
On March 23 Horizon House implemented a new level of response. Neighbors coming to the building are accessing basic needs (such as mail, hygiene products, and food) in a walk through style of services, while limiting the number of people in the building at one time. On a daily basis, an average of 150 neighbors are accessing these on-site services.
For those staying in the streets the need for food and water was growing on a daily basis. To meet this increasing demand, Horizon House staff and resources were diverted to street outreach. Utilizing the same coordination of the Professional Blended Street Outreach, Horizon House was able to quickly assign teams to each quadrant of the city to ensure all individuals living on the streets were being served. Street Outreach Teams have focused on delivering food, delivering basic hygiene products, providing triage care, and making health assessments. If anyone reports symptoms, these teams are able to connect them with the Marion County Health Department. Each team member is armed with a mask, gloves, and resilience. One unsheltered neighbor commented, “You guys are the only ones that come by every day. Thank you!” The Street Outreach Teams are providing services to nearly 200 people per day.
If you would like to support this work, please visit horizonhouse.cc/give.
About Horizon House
Horizon House is a full-service agency that connects our homeless neighbors with integrated, comprehensive services that provide help, inspire hope and find homes for our neighbors. We provide a safe place and basic services for our community homeless, serving them with dignity and respect, as they take steps towards a more stable life. Horizon House serves as central Indiana’s trusted leader and champion for supporting homeless neighbors achieve long-term self-sufficiency. Learn more at horizonhouse.cc and follow us on Facebook @HorizonHouseIndy, Twitter @HorizonHouseIN or Instagram @HorizonHouseIN