As the dawn rose over Porter County the morning of August 10, 2010, many people were waking up, getting ready for their day and driving to work. What they might not have been aware of as they were going about their regular routine is that there are people in their communities that are struggling and homeless. In fact, the average age of a homeless person in Porter County is 9 years old. There was another group of people who changed their routines up a bit on August 10 and attended the Housing Opportunities and Christian Community Action Fundraising Breakfast to hear about the effect homelessness has on Porter County and what they can do to help.
"We need to do whatever we can to give these kids a chance," urged Brad Sweet, a member on the Board for Housing Opportunities, during the fundraising presentation. "A chance to have a full and productive life." Pens came flying out of purses and wallets began opening as the time came to donate whatever amount each person decided to give. Last year, Housing Opportunities was able to help over 3,200 individuals and hopefully this year, they will be able to help even more through the support of generous individuals and organizations.
And they'll need the extra financial support as well. Recently, Christian Community Action ran into a financial crisis and had to let go of all of their staff leaving the Spring Valley Shelter on Calumet Avenue vacant besides the temporary residents still living in the facilities. In a rescue operation, Housing Opportunities along with Porter-Starke Services and with the help of the Porter County Community Foundation stepped in and applied for a state housing grant in order to pay off the debt on the building and to fulfill much needed repairs on the facility. The delay on the grant will unfortunately leave Spring Valley temporarily closed for a time, but once the grant is approved, it will reopen under Housing Opportunities' leadership. "Whether in the end [the clients] stayed there or they moved elsewhere, it's our job to ensure they find as good or better a place to live as they are now," said Kevin Feldman, the new Resource Development Director at Housing Opportunities. "But no one in this process is going to become homeless."
During the presentation, Barb Young, President of the Porter County Community Foundation, explained how Christian Community Action and Housing Opportunities have worked closely together since Housing Opportunities was formed in 2000 and how that partnership will continue despite the questionable future of Christian Community Action. Young explained, "Even if Christian Community Action does not formerly exist going forward, their ministry and dedicated volunteers and supporters will continue to be involved...We need to help ensure that Spring Valley will continue to be a place where people can get the help and assistance they need." Thank you to the supporters of Housing Opportunities and everyone who have contributed their time, effort, and resources to helping those who need it through Spring Valley.
If you would like to get involved or find out how you can help, please contact Kathleen McClure at (219) 548-2800 Ext. 205 or send her an email at email@example.com.