Engaging with Andrea: Providing the Magic of ChristmasJanuary 10, 2023
Navy veteran Al: “HVAF gives me room to grow”January 11, 2023
A new year is a time of resolutions and fresh starts for many. It reminds us of new opportunities and new possibilities as we look forward to the next 12 months. At HVAF, we hit the ground running in 2023. We are looking forward to an incredible year serving Indiana’s veterans.
This year will be filled with important activities including finalizing our Strategic Plan to guide the organization for the next few years, new fundraising goals and strategies, and new programs and processes – all centered around providing the best care possible to the veterans we serve.
Pantry is a huge need
Our food and clothing pantries have been open for 3 outreach days so far in 2023, and we continue to see increased demand due to the rising cost of food and other basic needs. So far this year, veterans have been lined up waiting for our pantry to open to receive the assistance they and their families need in this new year. I also want to highlight that donations typically decrease after the holidays, and it’s imperative that our pantry continues to receive the generous support of our community. Without the continued donation of in-kind items: non-perishable food items, hygiene products, and clothing, we will not be able to keep meeting the needs of Hoosier Heroes.
New housing is officially open
We’ve also hit the ground running in our housing programs. Veterans are moving into Proctor Place! We are grateful to our partner, Woda Cooper Companies, and appreciate the support of the City of Indianapolis and the Indianapolis Housing Agency as we offer veterans and their families the opportunity for permanent housing. Thanks to the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority, we are actively enrolling veterans in the Housing First Grant, which provides long term support for veterans with mental health and substance use struggles. Lastly, we just received word that we have been awarded the Emergency Solutions Grant from the City of Indianapolis. This allows us to provide housing assistance to veterans who are not entitled to VA benefits.
Partnering with the General Assembly
We are also eager to engage with the Indiana General Assembly, which kicked off a new session this week. In addition to hosting Indiana Veterans and Military Legislative Day on Tuesday reminding us all of the service and sacrifices made by so many Hoosiers, the General Assembly will have the opportunity to make significant investments in Indiana’s future.
Last night, Governor Holcomb shared his State of the State Address with the General Assembly and all Hoosiers. It was encouraging to hear him speak about his desire for expanded mental health access for Hoosiers. A recent article in the Indianapolis Business Journal cited a study by Mental Health America, “Indiana ranked 41st in the nation for the state of mental health in adults, based on prevalence of mental illness and access to care, and 23rd for children. Behind these dismal rankings are Hoosiers in communities all across our state who have been harmed by the devastating impacts of untreated mental illness.”
As the Governor indicated last night, this crisis impacts veterans as well, who are twice as likely to commit suicide as non-veterans. We are excited for the opportunity to engage legislators about this topic and are looking forward to improved access and treatment opportunities in Indiana.
We are so grateful for your support as we start a new year, and we look forward to the impact we will make together this year.