Our Homeless Initiative Program (HIP) sees many success stories as one of the largest and most comprehensive programs for the homeless in Indiana. This particular story touches on all of the different tools HIP uses to contribute to the success of their clients.
“Smile, you’ve got a job now…”
(story written by: Karin Romani, Employment Specialist at HIP)
A homeless veteran, Ricky Wallace, came to us for help with housing through our Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program (HVRP). Ricky had a decent job in Evansville but moved back to Indianapolis to be closer to his elderly, ailing parents. He couldn’t live with them as they are in an assisted living facility. So, Ricky’s first thought was to crash with a friend but that didn’t work out, and he came to us. We helped Ricky get emergency housing. But one concern was the job he had just found was a very long drive, and he was worried about his car making it out there every day, especially in the upcoming winter weather. Karin Romani, an employment specialist at HIP, helped him to apply for and get a better job, closer to home, with more stable hours so he could better assist his parents. Mr. Wallace is now working for IU Health in the Methodist Café and doing VERY well according to his supervisor. Throughout the job application process with IU Health, the client came into our office periodically to get assistance, and during two of those times, he complained of excruciating tooth pain. Going way above and beyond, Nurse Practitioner JoAnn Morris stopped what she was doing, evaluated and treated him on the spot. JoAnn also finagled an emergency dental visit not once, but twice for him. The first incidence of tooth pain came because of a seriously abscessed tooth, and the time after that was due to another tooth breaking and crumbling. As a team, we helped Ricky get housed, get proper dental care, apply for and make it successfully through a long application process with IU Health, and in addition, our HVRP team helped him get his car towed and repaired (it died on the last day of his former job way out in Avon). He can now get to and from his new IU Health job consistently.
Mr. Wallace is truly grateful and we were glad to help a man who we knew deserved it and is truly appreciative of it. Ricky has always thought of others before himself, but this time he found himself in need and did something about it. HVRP and other HIP services were there to make sure he got back on his feet so he can help his parents and be a true asset to the Methodist food service team.
To learn more about the services provided by HIP visit our website. To directly support the Homeless Initiative Program, click the donate button in the right-hand column of our blog!