The face of homelessness in central Indiana is not the man on the street corner with a cardboard sign. They are families holding on to each other for support now more than ever before. Families come in all shapes and sizes. Helping address each member's unique barriers is part of the good work happening at Holy Family Shelter on Indianapolis’ west side.
Ralph and Joyce lost their home after struggling to get by on his veteran disability benefits. They eventually found themselves on the streets of Indianapolis. In their late 50s, being homeless quickly took a toll on their health and they ended up in the emergency room. The hospital social worker referred them to Holy Family Shelter. Immediately upon entry into the shelter Ralph and Joyce’s health issues were addressed. They then met with a case manager to complete an assessment of barriers to permanent housing and self-sufficiency and created a plan to overcome them. Housing was identified for them because of Ralph’s military service and their age.
They needed additional income because Ralph’s disability income was not enough, and Joyce's health prevented her from finding a job. Their case manager helped Joyce obtain the documents needed to apply for public benefits, including a photo ID and Social Security card. This qualified them for some public benefits, and housing was identified for them because of Ralph’s military service and their age. They are currently participating in the Holy Family transitional housing services where they take part in life skills classes to increase their potential for self-sufficiency, receive support to help pay their rent, and receive health care services through the coordination of case management. Ralph and Joyce are now living with a new set of life skills and gratitude for the lessons learned. They are stable for the first time in a while and have a plan to make it last.
Stories of success like Ralph and Joyce’s are why we invest in effective programs like Holy Family, operated by Catholic Charities.