We’re on a mission to solve the homeless veteran crisis. We’re succeeding but we need your help
We are empowering homeless veterans.
We’re on a mission to solve the homeless veteran crisis. We’re succeeding but we need your help.
Helping Veterans and Families
HVAF - Helping Veterans And Families - helps homeless veterans return to self-sufficiency and engages at-risk veterans and their families to prevent them from becoming homeless by providing supportive housing, case management, food, hygiene, and clothing; as well as other essential services. HVAF is the largest non-profit provider of comprehensive services for veterans in Indiana.
HVAF OVER THE YEARS:
1993: HVAF was first incorporated as a Far From Home Chapter
Twenty five years ago, then 68-year-old Louise Loyd was retiring as President of the Indiana American Legion Auxiliary. She received a call from the Auxiliary National President, Linda Boone, about wanting to start a chapter of the Far From Home Foundation - an organization that helped homeless veterans - in Indiana.
"Linda said, 'there are so many homeless veterans in Indianapolis - will you help me?'" Louise said. "I said I'll help if I can... and it just went from there."
The name would later change to Hoosier Veterans Assistance Foundation in 1997.
1995: HVAF opens its first home and serves its first veteran
For the next two years, Louise and others worked to find a home to open for veterans. She said it was difficult because many neighborhood associations were not open to the idea of housing homeless veterans.
Finally, in 1995, they opened the Arlington house, which would later be changed to Lyter.
"We bought our first house in the City of Indianapolis for $1! And look what we have now, it's amazing," Louise said. "We moved five men into (Lyter) ... it gives me goosebumps. It was a wonderful day."
This also marked the first time they were able to serve Indianapolis' veterans.
1997: Don Moreau, Sr. is hired as HVAF's first CEO
As a three-time war veteran, with 28 years in the service and the title of full Colonel, the late Don Moreau, Sr. was the perfect choice for HVAF's first CEO. He ran the organization with his wife, Linda, by his side. One of his biggest initiatives included opening Carson Apartments.
2000: HVAF developed its Veteran Services Center, and opens Carson Apartments
The Veterans Services Center extends supportive services to homeless veterans and their families. The center provides food, clothing, furniture, household items and personal hygiene supplies.
According to Rick Schwartz, board member and one of HVAF's founders, no one wanted homeless veterans living in their "backyard." But the late Julia Carson did just that.
In 1999, HVAF received the grant to open apartments the congresswoman owned, right behind her home. The apartments officially opened the following year.
And the following year, retired Command Sergeant Major, Dr. Charles (Chuck) Haenlein was hired as the second CEO for HVAF. He would go on to lead the organization for 14 years.
2002: The project to open Warman Houses begins
The process for opening up the Warman Houses was very significant as it was the largest property of houses for HVAF at the time, with 45 units.
Warman was leased from the city of Indianapolis for $1 per year, and former Mayor Greg Ballard signed a quitclaim deed and gave HVAF the properties.
"We got about five houses outside the wire at the former Central State Hospital. We refurbished all of those houses," HVAF founding member and board member emeritus Rick Schwartz said. "The governor came and handed us a key and dedicated the houses to us. That was really out biggest project to date."
2007: HVAF Headquarters move to 10th Street
After being headquartered on Michigan Street for many years, HVAF relocated to 964 N. Pennsylvania Street, where it resides today. The move to this location was necessary as it made room for HVAF's growing staff and was a better, centralized location for veterans.
HVAF Headquarters is home to 70+ employees, food, clothing, & hygiene pantry, computer lab, library, and more.
2008: Don Moreau, Sr. Apartments opens for veterans
After Don Moreau, Sr. stepped down as HVAF CEO, he remained a huge supporter of the organization. Because of his efforts, HVAF now has an apartment complex named in honor of him. The apartments, which include 38 units, are open for male and female veterans. At the dedication ceremony in 2008, the late former CEO addressed the HVAF staff and supporters in attendance, as well as participated in the ribbon cutting. (These apartments are known as Veterans Villa today.)
2011: Manchester Apartments opens for homeless veterans
After many zoning meetings and lots of planning, the Manchester Apartments opened in 2011, thanks to the support of the St. Joseph Neighborhood Association. This property, connected to the HVAF Headquarters, has 51 units for male and female veterans to live in.
2011: SSVF added to veteran services
Supportive Services for Veteran Families was established by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs in 2011 to create public-private partnerships to rapidly re-house homeless Veteran families and prevent homelessness for very low-income Veterans at imminent risk due to a housing crisis.