HVAF was recognized for its work in rehabbing a new apartment complex, Manchester Apartments, which will soon be home to 51 previously homeless veterans in addition to its collaboration with Halstead Architects, United Way of Central Indiana, Home Depot, National Bank of Indianapolis and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Renovations on the Manchester Apartments included new roof and flooring installation, exterior and interior painting, kitchen and bathroom renovations as well as new windows and painting throughout.
The building is located at 958 N. Pennsylvania Street in downtown Indianapolis, Ind. HVAF is still accepting donations of cash or furnishings. Please call 317-951-0688.
On Wednesday, October 6, 2011, an army of 70 red-shirted volunteers with Eli Lilly and Company rolled up their sleeves at HVAF of Indiana, Inc. to help paint a mural in the courtyard of HVAF's newest property. In mid-October the newly rehabbed Manchester Apartments will be home to 51 previously homeless veterans. Volunteers also spent the day organizing HVAF's warehouse where donations are housed.
Today's effort is part of the forth annual Lilly Global Day of Service, when 24-thousand employees of Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Company volunteer in community service day projects in 39 countries around the world. Event organizations estimate the value of the 35-thousand hours of volunteer labor plus the materials and supplies at nearly $2-million for the day for Indianapolis.
"It's been very heartwarming for me knowing that this will be home to 51 veterans and seeing all the volunteers help out has been amazing," says Miller. I have a heart for veterans; my father was a veteran and so was I."
"The partnership with HVAF and Halstead Architects has been a positive one and the project which started in February 2011, will be completed on schedule, thanks in part, to volunteers from Eli Lilly and Company," adds Miller.
As the day of volunteering comes to an end, the mural is complete. It features trees, flowers and deer, and will now be a relaxing setting for 51 men and women who served our country.
"It was the time of my life," says Walter. It was a great learning experience. I learned to take life more seriously."
But returning home proved to be difficult for Walter. He was unable to find a job and struggled to pay bills. Walter was living day-to-day out of an Indianapolis motel until he eventually ran out of money and food.
"I was homeless. I didn't have anywhere to go or anything to eat," says Walter. My drug addiction spiraled out of control and I didn't care about paying bills. I didn't care about anything."
Walter came to HVAF of Indiana, Inc. in March 14, 2011, and entered its Residential, Employment, Substance Abuse Treatment program. The REST program is a 22-bed highly intensive, structured housing program that addresses addiction and recovery for previously homeless veterans. Veterans work closely with a case manager and go through the 12-step recovery curriculum.
"When Walter came to HVAF he was reluctant to talk to me about his past addictions," says Amanda Ellingwood, the REST case manager. We set goals and he opened up and we established a great client/case manager relationship. He wanted to restore his past relationships. Walter had a good attitude and was always willing to help his fellow veterans."
"The first 30 days were rough for me and I didn't want to stay," says Walter. But through the program's 12-step curriculum I learned how to reclaim myself."
Walter's goals included strengthening his relationship with family and friends and owning a home. Seven months after coming to HVAF, Walter was able to move into his new home in Indianapolis, Ind., on September 23, 2011, with his wife by his side.
"It makes me feel like a man. I became a father and a friend again. If it wasn't for HVAF I would be out on the streets. At HVAF, I learned the difference between wants and needs," says Walter. "I am in a good place in my life."