Last week I talked with Sarah, a staffer at HealthNet’s Homeless Initiative Program. Sarah is passionate about helping the homeless build their self-esteem…find a fulfilling career… obtain stable housing…participate in community life… and follow their dreams!
Sarah works at her passion through the Hospitality Certification Program (HCP), which assists Hoosiers with disabilities who have experienced homelessness in finding and keeping long-term employment. Following the philosophy of “teach a person how to fish,” the program empowers and supports people in making positive life changes, ultimately leading to self-sufficiency. To date Sarah and her colleagues have helped 101 people overcome barriers to become employed long-term! However, there is a large obstacle Sarah has to overcome, and she needs your help! Due to governmental budget cuts, funding for this program has been ELIMINATED nationwide.
A 100-Frame Bowling Marathon fundraiser is set for September 14 to benefit HCP.
Goal: to help bridge the gap between the program’s current funding, which ends September 30, and the long-term funding that the program is seeking to secure.
Participating bowlers are now soliciting co-workers, friends and family members to sponsor them by pledging a donation per frame played or a lump sum amount. If you’d like to support HIP’s team, check out their page.
Proceeds from the event will help HCP:
- provide support, a structured environment, proper interview clothing, nutritious food, medical referrals, and basic hygiene products to those in need during their journey to long-term employment;
- offer training to individuals with disabilities, geared towards gaining and maintaining long-term employment;
- provide the tools necessary to continue to empower and support members of the community in making positive life changes, and become self-sufficient.
Sarah shared that through HCP, individuals receive training in 13 types of jobs in the customer service and hospitality industry. Over 30 employers have hired at least one program graduate. The Hospitality Certification Program was recently awarded Mayor Greg Ballard’s 2011 Advisory Council on Disability Access and Inclusion Employer Award.
It would be a sad day for Indianapolis if this program disappeared. Let’s do our part to help Sarah and HCP strike out homelessness!