Helpers Helping Others
Outreach Team (HHOOT)
Bringing Volunteers, Street Outreach,
Street Ministries & Service Providers
together to better serve our
Homeless, our Seniors, our Veterans,
and Offenders & ExOffenders in & out of our Prisons & Jails.
Homelessness in Indy
Needs to be Reduced Sooner than Later.
It is time for a Public/Private Partnership
to Build a Secular Homeless Shelter
and Authorize Safe Homeless Camp
Sites for our Homeless Citizen in Indianapolis.
We Need: 1) a 150 bed Secular Shelter
for the Homeless
(should include a
for 25 homeless Veterans and could include a separate
wing for an Engagement Center for 25 people); and,
2) City-Recognized Extended-Stay Camp Sites for the
Download the latest notes on the proposed Secular Homeless Shelter
share this goal for our homeless friends, please email me your ideas to
Don Hawkins at hawkins@HHOOT.com
1 - Please post this request in with your weekly or
monthly newsletters or bulletins.
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED - Helpers Helping Others
Outreach Team (HHOOT) and the Homeless and ReEntry Industry are in need of Volunteers who
are willing to serve as; Teachers, Tutors, Mentors, Disciples,
Churches and Food Preparers/Servers
(we call Our HELPERS), that
will help persons who are homeless, or persons who are in and out of our
prisons and jails. We are also working with several Senior and
Veterans programs. To learn more about how you can start being
HELPERS, please stop by one of our regularly scheduled meetings on the
2nd Tuesday of each month from 5:30 to 8:00 PM at 918 E. Michigan
St. in Indy, or contact Don Hawkins at 317-635-0500, email him at
hawkins@HHOOT.com, or visit
2 - Basic Information About HHOOT
Legal Information: Helpers Helping Others
Outreach Team, Inc. (HHOOT) was formed on the 23 of March 2011.
HHOOT's Federal ID # is: 45-1068057 - HHOOT is a subordinate of Homeless
& ReEntry Helpers, Inc.(HRH), sharing there 501 (c)(3) obtained from the
IRS on the 19Nov08.
New Volunteers -
If you have the passion and the heart for helping those in need, we want
to help you help them! If
you are not currently volunteering with an existing organization and you
want to start volunteering somewhere, doing something, with an existing
and experienced organization, please come to one of our HHOOT meetings
or fill out our "R.S.V.P." link above
and we will help direct you to an organization that can use your special
services and talents.
3- What the Helpers Helping Others Outreach Team Is All About
Since HRH was formed (Aug08), we have always wanted to organize a
network of Volunteers (we now call Our HELPERS) to better serve the homeless and those in-and-out of
our prisons and jails. In researching the Homeless and the ReEntry
industry we found that the only successful "Ending Homelessness" and
"Reducing Recidivism" programs around the country were those that used a
large number of un-paid volunteers from the community to "fill the gaps". Because of the
recent negative publicity that the media has bestowed upon our
volunteers, we thought it was a good time to start getting organized.
That is, in a nutshell, why the Helpers Helping Others Outreach Team was
formed. Someone needed to organize (bring
together) the vast number of up-paid volunteers
into a strategic and cohesive working group (Team Members) that will better
serve our homeless friends and neighbors in a way that is helpful and
Government Can Not Do
It All -
In order for HHOOT to accomplish our goals, we believe that all of
us (in Group 4 below) need to work within the framework of what the the City
of Indianapolis, CHIP and a few professional service providers (in
Groups 1, 2 & 3) have already started, while at the same time maintaining
each of our street outreach and street ministries identities
and goals. We acknowledge the fact that the existing service
providers that work with the homeless have most of the
"professional" experience, money and resources, that is what
they are getting paid for - we are not. We feel that HHOOT members
provide what we are calling "the missing link" in helping to solve some
of the short term problems of the homeless. The bottom line is,
that there a lot more us un-paid volunteers than there are of them.
Our HELPERS are offering our vast source of resources to the community
to fill "that gap" in those existing services.
HHOOT's job is not to do their job, HHOOT's job is to
help them do their job better!
HHOOT's Purpose -
Make sure that all the homeless
persons we can find, have access to: 1) Food, water, clothing,
and personal hygiene items; 2) Information on where they can get help
with some type of housing that will get them off the street into a safe
environment; such as shelters, transitional and supportive housing; 3)
Information on where they can get professional help such as counseling
for mental health, medical problems, drug and alcohol addictions, etc.,
and; 4) A relationship with a new friend, spiritual help, or just
someone they can talk to about their faith and/or their needs.
HHOOT's Primary Goal -
Bring together, organize, and train all volunteers
that are working as; street outreach, street ministries, and service
providers who are currently working with, or wants to work with, the
homeless community; who will also agree to abide by a set of rules and
guidelines that HHOOT members have set for themselves that will: “Bring
It All Together for the Homeless”.
HHOOT's Secondary Goal -
Get all the outreach groups to start sharing and/or combining
their “soft assets” such as: time, talent, experiences, and knowledge to
better serve our brothers and sisters on the streets. (We are not
asking anyone to combine any "hard assets" such as money & supplies.)
Coordinating our schedules and the locations we serve, so as not
to duplicate services and waste "hard assets".
Start working together as a unified and organized
team. In doing so, I believe we can help solve some of the
problems of the homeless that will eventually get them off the streets
into a safer environment. From there, they can work with the
professional service providers and housing providers that can help them
obtain the goods and services they will need to get them back on their
feet, and in time, get into permanent housing.
24Apr10 (revised 26Dec10 at 0455)
Why Form a Outreach Team for Homeless Outreach?
(Written before HHOOT was formed)
In society’s haste to solve the homeless problem, somehow we volunteers,
street outreach teams (faith and community based), are being blamed for
some of the problems of the homeless, even to the point of being called
“Enablers” which now seems to be a dirty word. We volunteers need to
correct that. We also need to correct the misconception that the city,
CHIP, and other service organizations are not doing very much to help
the homeless. I can't dispute the fact that they did get off to a slow
start, but since new management has arrived at CHIP several months ago,
they have changed direction and are now very pro-active in working with
existing service providers to achieve their goals as outlined in the
City's Blue Print to End Homelessness. We all know that nothing in
government ever gets done as fast as we want it to get done, and solving
the complex problems of the homeless is no exception. I truly believe
that help is on its way.
We all know that homelessness is everyone’s problem, whether
you like it or not, people living on our streets are here to stay and
will remain here until we, collectively, as a community, as a society,
do something about it. Believe it or not, our city government does
not have all the answers for all of our problems, and they cannot solve
the homeless problems alone. They need our
help as volunteers, as HELPERS. The sooner we community members,
as volunteers and HELPERS, start dealing with it and working together
with the city, the sooner we can collectively come up with some
In my opinion, what society, some service providers, and the media are
calling “enablers” I call HELPERS, volunteers, street outreach teams,
and even angels to some of the homeless people they are helping.
Whether you believe enablers (religious or otherwise) are good or bad,
they are here to stay and will continue to serve, as long as our
brothers and sisters are living on the streets. I
am one of those HELPERS who believes that we HELPERS need to be better
organized, be better informed, and get better trained, so we can
continue to be part of the solution and not part of the problem.
Our goal is, and always will be, to make
things a little better for the homeless, not worse.
We need to start
communicating better with each other on how we can help the homeless
today, tonight and tomorrow. We know the city government and
several private organizations are working on the “next week, next month,
next year” solutions, but we HELPERS know that next week or next month
may be too late for some that need help TODAY.
We all know the stigmas of the homeless: They
are dirty, they are scary, they stink, they don’t work, they are
uneducated, they are unstable, they are thieves, they are all convicts,
they are all lazy and they are a disgrace to the community.
And, more importantly, most of us know that
the above stigmas are NOT ALL TRUE. At this point how some of you
personally feel about the homeless is not as important to me as it is
for you to help us find some short-term solutions for their long-term
problems. I can assure you that there is not one homeless person that I
have met the last several years that actually wants to be living on the
street, or under a bridge; any more than a city or a neighborhood wants
them there. Remember, they haven’t always been homeless and, more
importantly, with a little help, they will not always be homeless.
They are our “family members” which are veterans, elderly, disabled,
mentally ill, ExOffenders, and women and children that need our help.
They are stuck in a place somewhere between where they were and where
they are going; and I truly believe that if you were in their shoes, you
would want someone to help you and your family get off the street and
back on your feet.
We HELPERS are just that, HELPERS (volunteers), usually doing what we do
at our own expense. We are people with the
time, the talent, and the heart to hit the streets; we just want to make
sure that we are doing the right thing for the right reason without
We, collectively, need to develop some
We need to come up with a set of standards on how, what, and when we
bring donated items like food and clothes to the homeless. We have
learned that sometimes too much of one thing at one time is not always a
good thing. We need to better coordinate our efforts. We need to
spread out our resources. We need
to instruct our volunteers not to bring things like: firewood, Bunsen
burners, butane heaters, candles and mattresses to the bridges.
Sometimes, liability can be passed on to the HELPER if something goes
wrong such as the fire we had a few weeks ago at the Davidson Street
Bridge site. If HELPERS have items like this they want to donate, they
should be directed to a service provider that can properly dispense
those items to safer locations.
We need to better organize our
schedules, our services, our resources, and ourselves to develop
guidelines, training, support, information, etc. necessary to help our friends on the street.
I believe working with the existing service providers is
the proper course of action. We do not need to wait for another
agency or government program to develop or get funded.
We need to start working within the existing system and start helping
the homeless sooner, rather than later.
In the coming days,
weeks and months ahead we are going to organize the existing HELPERS to
become a more productive unit that will work with our existing community
members, service providers and city officials to better serve the
homeless community living on the streets of Indianapolis – They need our
“collective” help, and together we can "Bring It All Together" for the
3 March 2010 (Revised 9Jun10 at 2355)
5 - How Do We Start a Outreach Team for the Homeless?
(Written before HHOOT was formed)
The information on this page and the PDF documents attached are my notes that we can use as a starting point to begin working
on a set of “Guidelines” that will enable us
HELPERS, to better serve the homeless. I don't claim to have all the
answers at this point, but I do want the opportunity to try to help
bring it all together for those that are not as fortunate as we are; and
I hope by your willingness to join our Helpers Helping Others Outreach
you are, too.
We Need a Plan -
We know there are still some gaps to be filled in the existing system of
getting the homeless off the streets of Indianapolis. Our plan and our
goal is to help fill those existing gaps as soon as possible. Our plan
starts by: 1) Forming an outreach team - to be
named “Helpers Helping Others Outreach Team” (Done); then,
2) Bring all the street outreach, street ministries, and
volunteers together that want to share their experiences, their
knowledge, their talent, and their resources to help the homeless; then,
3) Bring all the professional and
experienced service providers (public and private), that are working
with the homeless, that are willing to educate and train Our HELPERS
(CHIP, HIP and Horizon House are already working with some street
outreach teams); then,
4) Start meeting regularly to
learn how we can all start working together as a team to "Bring
It All Together" for the Homeless.
What We Know - We know there are
several service providers and street outreach teams out there, with
limited resources, that are helping some of the homeless, but they can
not do it all, and they are not all working together. Most service
providers, street outreach, and street ministries are still “doing their
own thing” and not working together and sharing their experiences as a
I know some of them think they are working together but they are
forgetting about the rest of us that have been doing what we are doing
for just as long as they have, and sometimes even longer, but are not as
big or as well funded as they are.
We Know That - Homelessness has
no respect for color, creed, religion, or political affiliation. We
need to set aside, our differences, our arrogance, our egos, our
political affiliations, our differences in faith, color, or creed, and
start working together. We need to start
combining our time, talent, knowledge, and resources to better help our
brothers and sisters to get off the streets.
For those of
you that have successful homeless outreach programs we do not want to do
anything to interfere with your success. We hope you are willing to
share your experiences and your knowledge so we can learn from your
success. If you are one of the smaller, lesser funded organizations
that wants to learn how to work smarter by working together, we hope
that you may want to start working with some of the bigger
organizations, or at least start working within our Helpers Helping Others
Either way, we all need to share our knowledge and our experience so we can
start learning from each other and start working together, so as not to
duplicate services and waste valuable resources.
Our Goal as HELPERS -
is to work within the guidelines of the city’s “Blueprint
to End Homelessness”, side by side with CHIP,
in working with existing service providers and the city of
Indianapolis to help with the immediate needs of the homeless that have
already lost almost everything and are currently living on the streets.
The homeless need our help NOW, today, tonight and tomorrow. The
government and other agencies can work on the long-term “Prevention
Side” of the problem, in finding ways to “Develop Permanent Housing”,
next week, next month and next year.
Our “Calling” as
Christians and HELPERS is to help solve some of the short-term,
day-to-day problems of the homeless by working directly with them,
wherever they are currently living, as often as we can, as a team to
help them get off the streets and into a safer environment. That is
what we HELPERS do best: help those in need. We HELPERS are willing to
do what we can to get the homeless to the professional service providers
that can help get them get the goods and services they need, and more
importantly, into some type of supportive or other permanent housing
3 March 2010 (Revised 21Mar10 at 0315)
6 - Additional Information About HHOOT
Intro letter to all street outreach &
street ministries teams
of the 20May Meeting
Helpers Helping Others
Outreach Team -
Organizational Chart w/Notes
Work in Progress
17April 2010 (Revised
5Dec10 at 0125)
HRH's Flyer / Poster
"Little Yellow Card" front
"Little Yellow Card" back
14. Survey & Questionnaire -
Still being worked on (still working on)
"HHOOT's Gathering" (Fall 2010)
on the Mount"
HHOOT Saturday Dining Flyer
HHOOT's Gathering (Spring 2011)
"The Fruit of
Information On Our Next Meeting
8 - What To
Expect From Each Training Class
Agenda for Each Meeting - We will discuss:|
1) The four Supporting Groups as outlined (below);
2) The results of the Survey and Questionnaire from our proposed
3) The outline on how we can start working together, and on what levels;
4) The outline of a training program that we can all come together on;
5) Whatever else you want to talk about - complaints,
I have had several people ask me if there is going to be some type of
membership or certification process to be part of HHOOT. At this point
I believe we will have some type of Membership w/ID card program, but I
am not sure about a certification program, at least not until next
I have also had several
people ask me who is going to help manage, coordinate and/or train the
volunteers. I have asked Gene, Ralph & Joyce (above) to help me
coordinate our efforts. We are still looking for a management team
(Steering Committee) of existing "Experienced (not professional)
Street Ministries Persons" to help
with the rest. I think we still need a few more meetings to see who is interested in participating
long-term in the management, scheduling and helping out of the
(Revised 12Dec10 at 1400)
Stop by and learn how we plan to; better
Communicate, better Cooperate, & better Coordinate our efforts to better
serve the Homeless & ReEntry industry in Indy.
Training Classes are in Two Parts:
(Training classes are on hold till the first of
Part One - Newcomers Classes (Volunteering
101): If you are a new
volunteer, you will be asked to sit thru a class for "New Volunteers".
This class is meant to bring you up to date on "Who is Who" in our
industry. It is important to HHOOT that you have some basic
background information on
the history of helping people in Indianapolis, especially in the homeless
and reentry industry,
and that you know your options on where you may, or may not, fit in.
Then, you will be
learn from: 1) visiting speakers; 2) videos; and, 3) Power Point
Presentations, etc. on HHOOT's Rules and Regulations that we have
collectively established to help ourselves be better volunteers; and
more importantly, be better informed TEAM MEMBERS. This class will also inform
you of your options on: 1) where you may want to fit in; 2) where you
may want to volunteer; and/or, 3) what type of volunteer you may want to
Part Two - Ongoing Classes:
After you have attended the Newcomers
Class you can start attending our Ongoing Meetings that meet twice
each month. (You are not required to attend every meeting). These meetings will consist of: 1) Being brought
up-to-date on any rules and regulations that may have been changed or
2) Listening to two professional service providers that will tell us
about their organization, how they operate, and how we can fit in and/or
work with them; 3) Listen to previously homeless persons that are
currently not homeless anymore and how they got that way; 4) Taking
your questions and/or suggestions; 5 . . .
As always, we will ask
you to bring a new friend/volunteer to the next meeting.
still working on this section . . . .
(Revised 23Oct10 at 0035)
9 - Fast Facts about the homeless in
All from CHIP’s web site. For more current
information on the homeless in Indianapolis, please visit:
Definition of homelessness
- HUD considers a person to be homeless if he or she meets one of two
different classifications: 1) resides in a place not meant for human
habitation, such as a car, park, sidewalk, abandoned building, or on the
(unsheltered homeless person);
or 2) resides in an emergency shelter or transitional housing for
homeless persons who originally came from the streets or emergency
shelters (sheltered homeless).
that those who are “doubled-up” (living with friends or extended family
on a temporary basis) do not meet HUD’s definition. We know from other
sources (McKinney-Vento Act liaisons) that if we included “doubled-up”
families, the number of homeless persons would be much higher.
Facts about Homelessness Details - Despite
investments of time, energy, and millions of dollars, many Indianapolis
residents have repeated spells of homelessness. The people who are
homeless include families, veterans, domestic violence victims, and
youth "Aging Out" of foster care. Homelessness results from many
factors, including employment in low-paying jobs, unemployment, mental
illness, substance abuse, prisoner reintegration, and medical
disability/lack of insurance. However, the loss of affordable housing,
which leads to high rent burdens, overcrowding, and substandard housing,
is the leading cause of homelessness.
Homeless in Indianapolis
- In the Summer of 2009 they counted 1,545 homeless persons on the night
of the count
2. Families make up about 42% of the local homeless
2009 they estimated from 4,400 to 7,300 people experiencing homelessness
over the course of a year in Indianapolis
- Two-thirds of the individuals experiencing homelessness are male
- As many as 28% of the people homeless and living on the streets may be
- As in previous counts, approximately one-half (51%) of the population
experiencing homelessness is African-American.
- Approximately one-fourth (24%) of the population experiencing
homelessness is under 18.
- Of the adults with a known age, the largest percentage fall in the
41-51 age range (20%).
- When asked, 21% of the adults indicated that they were employed (down
from 25% in the Winter count).
- Another 13% (compared to 14% in the
Winter count) indicated that they were in school.
- Released from a prison, state institution, hospital, or other facility
following a stay of more than one (1) week, 183 (11.84%) had been
released recently from prison or other institutions.
Homeless Count Results by Subpopulation, 2009
2009 Summer Count Finds Economy Affecting Homeless
The entire report is available on CHIP’s web
Persons in emergency shelters
Persons in transitional shelters
Persons unsheltered (“street”)
Severely mentally ill
Persons w/chronic substance
Persons with HIV/AIDS
*Chronic homelessness is defined as the following: an
unaccompanied homeless individual with a disabling condition who
has either been continuously homeless for a year or more or has
had at least four episodes of homelessness in the past three
years. To be considered chronically homeless, persons must have
been sleeping in a place not meant for human habitation (e.g.,
living on the streets) and/or in emergency shelter during that
Other Fast Facts about the Homeless
- Housing the Homeless - A study by the Department of
Housing and Urban Development finds that the average monthly cost to
house the homeless varies widely. For individuals Emergency shelter
Transitional housing Market-rate rent, one-bedroom apt. Des Moines
$581 $1,386 $549 Jacksonville $799 $870 $643 Houston $968 $1,654
$612 For families Emergency shelter Transitional housing Market-rate
rent, two-bedroom apt. Houston $1,391 $3,340 $743 Kalamazoo, Mich.
$1,614 $813 $612 Greenville, S.C. $2,269 $1,209 $599 Washington
$3,530 $2,170 $1,225.
- According to a national report released April 21, 2010 that provides data on the
cost of rental housing for every county, metropolitan area and state in the
nation, the Housing Wage for Indiana is $13.58. The Housing Wage is the
hourly wage a family must earn - working 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year - to
be able to afford rent and utilities in the private housing market. This
is an increase from the 2009 Housing Wage of $13.41.
The report provides the Housing Wage and other data for every state,
metropolitan area, combined non metropolitan area, and county in the
country. For additional information on the report, visit
Do your homework. Read thru some of this information on the Homeless.
CHIP's Blueprint to end Homelessness
CHIP's Blueprint to end Homelessness (Update - Community Progress
CHIP's Indianapolis Homeless Count 2009 Shows More Families Homeless
CHIP's 2009 Summer Count Finds Economy Affecting Homeless
CHIP's Homeless Count Report 2010
- Local Media (TV & Newspaper) on
- HRH's Reference & Research
Information on the Homeless
- Will Work for Food - Can we
really do anything to help the people on the streets?
- 8 Guidelines in
Helping the Homeless
- 35 Ways to Help the
The Bible on the Poor or Why God is a liberal - I don't believe
a lot of his intellectual commentary (especially about God being a
liberal) but it is a good read.
What the Bible says about to poor? - From World Vision.
This is good and has the Bible verses to back it up.
Helping Others Helps You
Help the Homeless - Some Easy Advice
Form #4 (Revised 1May11 at 0415)