LHC class looks to make big impact
Members of the 2017 Leadership Harrison County graduating class chose a class project that they’re hopeful will have a huge impact.
Susan Mills, a member of the class, said as they talked about possible class projects, several had a common theme: homelessness.
‘People often don’t realize there are homeless people here in Harrison County because they aren’t readily seen,’ she said.
Mills told of a man whom she became acquainted with while he was living in his car near her apartment.
‘One day, he was just gone,’ she said. ‘I’ve often wondered what happened to him.’
Recent findings from the 2017 Balance of State Point-in-Time Homeless Count showed a 14-percent decease in the overall homeless population, with the number of chronically homeless individuals down 29 percent and the number of homeless veterans down 55 percent, according to the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority.
However, according to a U.S. government study, there are 1.5 million Americans who are considered to be homeless.
Officials with the IHCDA attribute the drop in homelessness in Indiana to an increase in Rapid Rehousing programs and the Housing First initiative, which are designed to offer support services to prevent the recurrence of homelessness.
Temporary shelters still provide the most common immediate need for those who are homeless; however, many places, including Harrison County, don’t have shelters.
A couple of years ago, 4:34 Ministries began a shelter for those who are homeless, but it’s not a typical shelter, where its doors open for the night on a first-come, first-served basis. Macy House, located along Wyandotte Avenue in Corydon, offers temporary housing for those who qualify, giving them an address to list on applications so they can get a job and save some money that can be applied toward renting a place. There currently is a waiting list for a room at Macy House, which was recently expanded to add two additional bedrooms.
Many of the members of the 2016-17 LHC class were unaware that homelessness was an issue locally. But, as they explored class projects, this was an issue they wanted to draw attention to.
‘It was apparent at our second class that we had a heart for the homeless and wanted to make this the center of our project,’ Angel Frizzell said.
T-shirts they had made up to help promote their project include a mission statement on the back, which reads: ‘Impacting our community and raising awareness of the homeless population in Harrison County one tiny house at a time.’
Annette Lawler said she and other class members went through ‘hills and valleys’ as they proceeded with the plan to raffle a ‘tiny house’ that will meet required code as a dwelling in Harrison County.
The structure, 320 square feet, will have a kitchen, bathroom and even an area for a stacking washer-dryer unit. The tiny house shell was delivered Friday morning to the Flags Over Corydon lot, at the intersection of South Capitol Avenue and Poplar Street, and work has started to finish the interior.
Mills said local home builder Mark Wernert has graciously helped the group more than they had anticipated. Eckart, Shireman and Lucas Oil have led the way with donations for the project.
Raffle tickets are $20 each and can be purchased from any LHC 2017 graduate as well as at the Chamber of Commerce of Harrison County in Corydon.
Mills said she was pleasantly surprised that they were able to raise enough in donations to allow them to purchase the shell and raffle ticket sales have been good as people learn about the project. Class members have been at various events throughout the county selling tickets and sharing information about homelessness.
‘Donations are still welcome, as the more we have, the more we can do to finish the interior of the house,’ Mills said.
The drawing will be Friday, Aug. 11, at 5:30 p.m. at the Flags Over Corydon lot. The person whose name is drawn does not have to be present to be win.
Class member Jeff Thomas said several people have told him that, if they win, they plan to donate the tiny house back to the class.
Proceeds from the raffle will be donated to 4:34 Ministries and will be used to create an endowment with the Harrison County Community Foundation for future initiatives to end homelessness.
Persons who would prefer to make a donation instead of buying a raffle ticket can do so by mailing a check to Leadership Harrison County (note on check Tiny House), P.O. Box 471, Corydon, IN 47112.
Other LHC class members are Sarah Alstott, Dan Darling, Anna Froman, Matt Hamblen, Lindsey Hardsaw, Emily Siler and Sallie Wernert.
‘We hope you will join us with this endeavor and thank you in advance for your consideration and donations,’ Frizzell said.
For more information, visit online at http://build.hccfindiana.org/component/jgive/campaign/619?layout=single&Itemid=101#.WRXDCFimtsl.facebook.