As we close in on a full month of the COVID-19 pandemic in Central Indiana, we wanted to provide an update on how we’ve been able to serve our Hoosier Heroes and meet increased demands caused by this public health crisis. We remain committed to our mission to house, support and advocate for veterans and their families—especially in these trying times.
The veterans we serve find themselves among the most vulnerable during COVID-19 and we have taken swift action to extend critical services to provide food, shelter and emergency assistance to our veterans. Within 24 hours of receiving funds granted from the Central Indiana COVID-19 Community Economic Relief Fund (C-CERF), we purchased Kroger gift cards and Speedway Gas cards, and increased food purchases through local food banks.
HVAF staff are working hard to keep up with demands! Our pantry continues to serve veterans each Tuesday and Thursday, with approximately 100 veterans visiting each week. As our community continues the fight against COVID-19, we anticipate the demand for our pantry services will grow as central Indiana faces record unemployment levels and record need for food assistance.
Additionally, we’ve been able to create an “emergency housing fund” that is being used to cover costs of emergency hotel/motel stays for homeless veterans and their families in our community. These funds allow us to provide immediate, safe emergency housing for veterans experiencing homelessness. For example…
…we were able to cover the motel costs for a veteran who was staying at a local shelter and was exposed to a positive case of COVID-19. We were able to move him into a motel to quarantine and provided him food to last the stay.
…a single mother of four, was provided food and gas cards to help her and her children prepare to shelter-in-place for an extended period of time.
…an older, high-risk veteran is currently staying at a motel until moving into permanent housing later this month. This veteran was a National Guardsmen with limited access to federal benefits. Because of new funds received, we were able to provide him, and other veterans like him, emergency housing in a way we’ve not been able to before.
Like we’ve said from the beginning, we remain steadfast in our commitment to providing food and shelter for Hoosier Heroes in need during this time of crisis. From our CEO, Brian Copes: “I wish our veteran clients and our donors, volunteers, and partners could see firsthand what our extraordinary team of dedicated professionals is doing behind the scenes to continue our mission of serving homeless and at-risk veterans while accommodating all the disruptions imposed on them by the COVID-19 pandemic. I do not exaggerate in saying that “this is their finest hour”. I am deeply grateful for the continued generosity of patriotic donors who honor the service and sacrifice of our military veterans. Thank you.”
The needs will grow, but we will be here to serve those needs.
Thank you for helping us get this far and thank you in advance for your continued support!