All posts by Andrea Davis

Stay Home for HAND raises almost $10K for housing programs

Hamilton County Area Neighborhood Development Inc.’s inaugural Stay Home for HAND fundraiser has generated nearly $10,000 in donations to support the Noblesville-based nonprofit’s work.

HAND took an unusual approach to the traditional charity fundraiser: Instead of asking donors to attend an upscale event in a rented venue, the organization invited the community to stay home on the evening of Nov. 11—enjoying the kind of warmth and comfort that HAND provides.

More than 50 households bought tax-deductible tickets to Stay Home for HAND, and several shared photos and videos of their activities that evening. Ticketholders also had access to an online silent auction that closed during the “event.”

Discounted tickets are still available for households that weren’t able to stay home on Nov. 11 but still want to participate.

“We are thrilled with the response we received this year,” said HAND Executive Director Jennifer Miller. “It’s a different kind of ‘event,’ but people seemed to really embrace the idea that they could stay home. And we couldn’t ask for a better tie-in with our mission.”

Proceeds from Stay Home for HAND will support the organization’s housing-development, home-repair and community-building programs. HAND works to ensure that Hamilton County remains livable, with homes that are affordable for all residents.

Since 2003, HAND has invested nearly $17 million in Hamilton County housing, developing six affordable apartment communities. Construction is underway on a seventh, Home Place Gardens, which is expected to open in 2018.

Local advocacy training scheduled for Oct. 24

Definition of advocacy

Want to advocate for change in your local community, but not sure where to start?

HAND has organized a two-hour training session on Oct. 24 that will allow you to learn strategies for engaging with local decision-makers.

Rachel Mattingly from Prosperity Indiana will lead the training. She will be joined by Ryan Crum, the Director of Planning and Building for the town of McCordsville. Together, they’ll help participants understand the roles of government officials and other community leaders, key planning and decision-making processes, and how residents can effectively influence both.

REGISTER NOW

HAND wins Servaas Memorial Award for historic preservation

Hamilton County Area Neighborhood Development Inc. was recognized Sept. 10 at Indiana Landmarks’ annual meeting with a Servaas Memorial Award for achievement in historic preservation.

Given annually to a not-for-profit organization, the award recognizes HAND’s work restoring three abandoned buildings and revitalizing a block of downtown Noblesville. Now known as Roper Lofts and Roper Capstone, the buildings at 347, 304 and 388 S. 8th Street were transformed into a total of 14 affordable apartments as well as office space for HAND and the Shepherd’s Center of Hamilton County.

Indiana Landmarks’ awards panel applauded HAND’s restoration standards and its commitment to combining low-income housing, preservation and community revitalization.

Also honored at the meeting were Fountain County Landmarks, which received the Servaas Award for youth-serving organizations, and Sallie Rowland, the retired founder of Indianapolis architecture and interior design firm Rowland Design. Rowland won the Williamson Prize for outstanding individual leadership in historic preservation for her 40 years of devotion to restoration and revitalization.

Founded in 2003, HAND works to ensure that Hamilton County remains livable, with homes that are affordable for all residents. In addition to developing six communities leasing a total of 96 apartments, HAND helps low-income homeowners make critical repairs to their homes. The organization has invested nearly $17 million in Hamilton County housing.

HAND welcomes new Program Manager

Rebekah Wood

Rebekah Wood joined Hamilton County Area Neighborhood Development Inc. as Program Manager on Aug. 7.

In her new role, Wood will oversee HAND’s housing development projects and lead the organization’s community-development proposals, grant administration and compliance.

“I am excited to join the talented team at HAND and have the opportunity to assist in their strategic community-development efforts,” Wood said. “I feel fortunate to work alongside those committed to improving the quality of life for others through the creation of affordable housing.”

Wood earned a bachelor’s degree in Applied Health Science from Indiana University-Bloomington and worked as a housing development strategist at the John Boner Neighborhood Centers in Indianapolis through the AmeriCorps VISTA program.

She also has served as a kindergarten director at AYS Inc. in Indianapolis and as assistant director at Wonderlab in Bloomington.

Wood replaces longtime Program Manager Michelle Westermeier, who resigned to work for her family business.

Founded in 2003, HAND works to ensure that Hamilton County remains livable, with homes that are affordable for all residents.

In addition to developing and owning six properties that provide a total of 96 affordable apartments, HAND helps low-income homeowners make critical repairs to their homes.

The organization has invested nearly $17 million in Hamilton County housing, and construction of its $2.4 million Home Place Gardens development is expected to begin this fall.

HAND awarded Indiana American Water environmental grant

Aug. 11, 2017, check presentation

Hamilton County Area Neighborhood Development Inc. has been awarded $3,000 through Indiana American Water’s 2017 Environmental Grant Program.

Established in 2005, the program offers funds for innovative, community-based environmental projects that improve, restore or protect watersheds, surface water and/or groundwater supplies. Several grants for a combined total of about $10,000 will be awarded in 2017.

HAND will use the funding to pay for underwater aerators to improve the water quality at its Spicewood Gardens pond in Sheridan. Aggressive algae growth is preventing sunlight from penetrating the water, keeping underwater plants from producing needed oxygen through photosynthesis. Better water circulation will discourage algae growth and reduce mosquito breeding in the pond.

Once the water-quality improves, the pond could function as a recreational amenity for Spicewood residents and the community. Built in three phases, Spicewood Gardens provides 60 affordable two-bedroom apartments for seniors. It is one of six HAND properties in Hamilton County.

Founded in 2003, HAND works to ensure that Hamilton County remains livable, with homes that are affordable for all residents. In addition to developing a total of 96 apartments, HAND helps low-income homeowners make critical repairs to their homes. The organization has invested nearly $17 million in Hamilton County housing.

Check presentation-Aug. 11, 2017Indiana American Water’s Ryan Smith, Noblesville Operations Superintendent, and Doug Brock, Vice President of Operations, present a ceremonial check to HAND Executive Director Jennifer Miller (center) and Program Manager Rebekah Wood.