Playground project wins grant from Carmel Rotary, District 6560

HAND Inc. has been awarded a $10,000 grant from the Carmel Rotary Club and Rotary International District 6560 to help build a commercial-grade playground at HAND’s new Home Place Gardens development in Carmel. Rotary members also will help to install the playground.

Home Place Gardens is HAND’s seventh affordable rental community in Hamilton County and the first to include housing for families with children: Two of the 10 units at Home Place Gardens are reserved for families who have survived violence and are referred by Prevail Inc. The other eight units will be occupied by seniors age 55 and older.

Including a playground at Home Place Gardens is important because it gives resident families and their guests a recreational option close to home, HAND Executive Director Jennifer Miller said when accepting the grant at Carmel Rotary’s Aug. 3 lunch meeting.

“We hope the playground can help these children feel a little sense of normalcy in a very difficult situation,” said Carmel Rotary Club President Jon Walker.

Constructed on 2.4 acres south of 106th Street between College Avenue and the Monon Greenway, Home Place Gardens will welcome tenants beginning this month.

The $2.6 million project was funded with loans and grants from the Indiana Housing & Community Development Authority, Federal Home Loan Bank of Indianapolis, Hamilton County, Prevail Inc., Crosser Family Foundation and Woodforest National Bank.

The playground equipment was funded separately. In addition to the Rotary, contributors included 100+ Women of Hamilton County and Meyer Najem Construction. At least one volunteer work day will be scheduled for this fall to prepare the site for play.

Founded as Hamilton County Area Neighborhood Development in 2003, HAND has developed seven affordable rental communities throughout Hamilton County, leasing a total of 106 units to low-income individuals and families. This year, it acquired 17 duplexes in Lebanon, extending its reach to nearby Boone County. Its mission is to be a leader in promoting prosperity and diversity in its communities by providing quality housing opportunities.