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.