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Horizon House is positioned for long term stability thanks to a historic human services grant from the Lilly Endowment

Horizon House has received a grant of $5 million as part of Lilly Endowment Inc.’s commitment to helping human service organizations that strive to improve the lives of low-income individuals and families and strengthen their communities in Indianapolis and throughout the state.

Horizon House will use the funds to sustain and bolster its comprehensive approach to service delivery by meeting the basic needs of individuals experiencing homelessness and providing them access to services that foster self-sufficiency. In addition, the largest portion of the grant will provide for the establishment of an endowment in order to sustain Horizon House’s long term financial future.

“We are both honored and humbled by this remarkable and game-changing gift from the Lilly Endowment,” said Teresa Wessel, executive director of Horizon House. “Each year, thousands of Central Indiana individuals and families experience the challenges of homelessness, such as the lack of shelter, unemployment/underemployment, no transportation, limited resources or family support, and chronic medical and mental health conditions. There is no question that homelessness takes a heavy toll. For 28 years, our valued staff and beloved volunteers have provided a safe place for integrated, comprehensive services for our community’s homeless. Stability is clearly our focus for our neighbors, and thanks to the Lilly Endowment, the long term stability for our organization has also been ensured. On behalf of our board, staff and volunteers, we are eternally grateful.”

Lilly Endowment is making a total of $100 million in grants to 15 organizations through this initiative to help them enhance their long-term impact by building stronger financial futures. Many of the organizations will use their grants to establish endowments or fortify an existing endowment so they can have more flexibility and greater capacity to work strategically.

These grants complement the Endowment’s regular support for human service organizations, including grants to the United Way of Central Indiana.

The organizations provide a variety of services to help low-income individuals and families. Ten of the grants are supporting community/neighborhood centers. Five of the grants will help organizations that frequently collaborate with community centers, providing counseling and other mental health services; food programs; daytime services to homeless individuals and families; and education, employment and health services.

“The grants offer transformative opportunities for the organizations to secure strong financial futures,” said Ace Yakey, Lilly Endowment’s vice president for community development. “Unlike support for day-to-day operations, these funds will help each organization strengthen its financial infrastructure so it can serve more people over the long-term and weather unexpected financial challenges. These grants do not alleviate the need for the organizations to attract ongoing support for their efforts. Indeed, we hope the grants will help them more effectively attract support for their important work.”

Lilly Endowment selected Horizon House and the others in the initiative because they are critical to community efforts to serve at-risk residents in their neighborhoods. By doing so they help build social capital, which is critical for addressing the range of challenges neighborhoods face.

Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by three members of the Lilly family – J.K. Lilly Sr. and sons J.K. Jr. and Eli – through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly & Company. The Endowment is primarily committed to the causes of community development, education and religion and has a special commitment to its hometown, Indianapolis, and its home state, Indiana.



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