Category Archives: First HAND Blog

January 29th, 2016

Hello! Hope you’re having a great day!
So in this blogpost I thought I’d update and tell you about two of HAND’s current building projects. As you may know, HAND has built housing in Sheridan, Cicero, and Noblesville. Currently HAND is working on transforming and restoring the Roper Capstone building as well as the Noblesville Granary-Elevator and Lofts.
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Roper Capstone is located downtown Noblesville just off the square. HAND has been working hard to renovate and complete the old building into beautiful housing. Construction has just finished and Roper Capstone is officially open! The building has created six new affordable one-bedroom apartment homes just a walk away from downtown Noblesville’s variety of shops, restaurants, and bars. The apartments are looking wonderful and now all that HAND needs is some wonderful residents!
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The other major project HAND is tackling is the Noblesville Granary-Elevator and Lofts, or the grain elevator, or that old mill downtown Noblesville. Being a Noblesville High School Miller myself, I always loved driving or walking by the beautiful structure. I knew our team mascot had derived from the old mill so I took a sort of pride in it, though I had never even been inside it. I mean, what’s a miller without a mill? So when I found out that HAND was working diligently to save the structure from being demolished, I was thrilled! Not too mention I got the perk of taking a look on the inside, and let me tell you, it was breathtaking. The wood beams supporting the structure are never ending and craftsmanship of the wood is astonishing. Only by hand and a hundred years ago could it be built so beautifully. The wooden structure was first built in 1904 with the purpose of expanding Noblesville’s agricultural economy and the town itself. The grain elevator was still in use until about two years ago. HAND is planning on saving as much of the Historic Grain Elevator as possible and using the structure to create 54 apartments for those with low-incomes. The apartments will be accompanied by green space and parking for residents. Also, the apartments will help allow people working downtown to remain close to their job in order to cut down on travel expenses and allow the children of residents to attend Noblesville schools. Though they have just begun the project, HAND has already accomplished so much by saving the historic granary from demolition, and they are proud!


January 22nd, 2016


Hello again!

I wanted to tell you a little more about HAND, just to get you more familiar with the organization. As I have said before, my time spent here has taught me so much. In school, we’re never taught a lot about the community that surrounds us. Interning here has been a great lesson in the importance of community. We often take for granted the people who surround us in our neighborhoods and town. A neighborhood can create such a healthy, fulfilling environment for building relationships and learning teamwork. It’s so much more fun when you’re involved in your community and can take pride in it. HAND works very hard to create these environments for people in Hamilton County by providing them with opportunities to be a part of their surroundings. They work to build teams and committees within neighborhoods so that residents feel more involved. I had never realized how much of a positive impact is created when we put in the effort to take care of our neighbors and neighborhoods.

Another major part of HAND is creating and providing affordable housing in Hamilton County. With the massive amount of people moving to Hamilton County each year for the great school systems and high quality of living, it’s become difficult to supply enough housing for all ranges of income. HAND works diligently to close the gap in affordable housing. Many people in our communities are unaware of the importance and need for affordable housing. It’s easy to paint a pretty picture of Hamilton County without considering the problems it’s facing. Allowing families and individuals from all walks of life to have access to jobs, schools, parks, and other amenities in Hamilton County is a priority that HAND is tackling one project at a time.

It’s important to HAND to get rid of the false stereotype that accompanies affordable housing. Many people cringe at the concept, but it’s nothing to be afraid or ashamed of. When done correctly, affordable housing is not a breeding ground for illegal activities, people taking advantage of their situations, or deteriorating the surrounding communities’ standards. And that’s exactly what HAND does. They’ve created housing in neighborhoods that not just help, but enhance communities. HAND’s housing allows more people to live close to jobs and schools which only builds up Hamilton County. Affordable housing can be the cause of a prosperous town that takes pride in itself and attracts people from all over. HAND is helping to grow Hamilton County by always improving the county for everyone living in it.

January 17th, 2016


Hello returning readers and welcome newcomers!

Today I wanted to direct my blog more towards my own age group. As a teenager I know that the concept of affordable housing can be hard to digest. Living in wealthy Hamilton County causes many of us teenagers to overlook the importance of the effect affordable housing has on us. Affordable housing plays a large role in developing and stimulating our community. This type of housing allows people from all over to live in our cities, therefore increasing local spending and job growth. This makes it easier for Hamilton County to provide local restaurants, shops, and great downtowns that all ages can enjoy. The economic stimulation that is caused by affordable housing allows the city to maintain the beauty and nostalgia of our home towns. The job production also makes it easier for us teenagers to find the jobs our parents have been pestering us about getting.

Affordable housing can also have a huge impact of us directly. Though we may not like to think about it, our futures are approaching quickly, whether it be in the working field or college. Eventually, we can all agree that it would be nice to have our own place, away from our families, and another step closer to full independence. Finding a house that is both of high quality and low price can be much more difficult than you may anticipate. College is expensive and with the expense comes loans and debts that create an obstacle for the vast majority of students. It can also be difficult to immediately obtain the high paying we dream of. HAND is providing housing that fits both the need for quality and reasonable prices. With affordable housing comes the comfort of a place to call your own and the excitement of being independent without draining your already low bank account.

I know it’s sometimes hard to imagine yourself as something other than a millionaire, but reality is coming and with it, realistic decisions. Affordable housing plays a huge role in our lives whether directly or indirectly. The importance of educating ourselves about its benefits and effects is increasing everyday. HAND is working hard to break down this concept of affordable housing so us teenagers can easily digest it, be aware of it, and become involved in it.

January 15, 2016


Hello! Welcome to our new blog!

My name is Olivia, and I am a senior at Noblesville High School and an intern at HAND. I just started my second semester here and I’ve already learned and experienced so much. Originally I came to the internship for video making, but I have gained so much more. Already I have had the opportunity to meet residents, visit HAND’s housing, and participate in a fundraiser and housing conference. For those of you who don’t already know, HAND (Hamilton County Area Neighborhood Development) is a nonprofit organization that builds affordable housing. Their mission is to improve neighborhoods, provide housing solutions, and build partnerships to help lives and build communities in Hamilton County. They have housing in Sheridan, Cicero and Noblesville.

When I first came here I wasn’t sure what to expect about the services they provide. I unfortunately had the common misconception that HAND’s kind of housing would include run-down apartment buildings filled with people that I shouldn’t talk to when by myself. Boy, was I wrong. All of the housing I’ve had the pleasure of seeing was well kept and of great quality, and nothing like what I had imagined. Many of the complexes are difficult to tell apart from the houses and neighborhoods that surround them. HAND does a great job of incorporating affordable housing into neighborhoods so that both the neighbors and residents feel at ease with one another. With HAND’s housing, there is no such thing as “the poor people’s houses.” It’s so important to HAND that the residents feel comfortable in their homes and don’t feel like outcast in their communities, because in all truth they aren’t.

I’ve also had the opportunity to meet many of these wonderful residents full of compassion, stories, and gratitude towards HAND. I was fascinated to learn the stories of residents and hear how they had come to the nonprofit and how their new homes have affected them. Many of them were beyond grateful and explained how big of an impact the organization had made on their lives. Many expressed how HAND had given them a comfortable and affordable place to live. They admitted that before, locating a quality, yet affordable, home had been nearly impossible. HAND employees take pride in this, and hope to positively affect as many people as they can in the near future.

Speaking of the wonderful HAND employees, I’ve been so happy to work with such an empowering team that has made the nonprofit into what it is today. The people who work here are so passionate about the work they do and care deeply for the residents and families they help; it’s truly inspiring.