The mission of NeighborLink Indianapolis is to offer an improved quality of life to very low-income senior homeowners and homeowners with disabilities in Indianapolis, Indiana by providing free home repairs and modifications necessary to allow older people to remain in their own homes safely and with dignity. Many of these homeowners are living in unsafe, non-functional, or uninhabitable structures, and losing their homes prematurely because they lack resources to repair or maintain them. Without the necessary resources they have nowhere to turn for help when home-related issues arise.
We are volunteer-based and community-supported through churches, schools and businesses who share our concern for some of society’s most vulnerable members. We offer twelve categories of home repair and modification services including plumbing, heating, electrical safety, ceiling and wall repair, floor and tripping hazard issues, roofing problems, water penetration, maintenance related painting, yard work, major cleanup services, safety and accessibility and resolving Health Department citations.
We have no payroll or facilities expense. We have approximately 1,200 volunteers that we can call upon – a combination of skilled as well as those that can provide general assistance.
Skilled volunteers are recruited through contractors and contracting associations, such as plumbing and heating contractor associations and electrical contractor associations. Non-skilled volunteers are recruited from schools, churches and businesses. An interested volunteer typically brings a friend with him or her and the number grows. Many schools have requirements for their students to perform community service. We make that easier for them because we are organized, have scheduled projects, are insured and always have projects for them. Churches want to serve the community but struggle to find the kind of opportunities that get them in contact with people in real need and that provide a personal and rewarding experience. NeighborLink works hard to provide all of that, and all they have to do is show up.
Businesses are critical to providing NeighborLink with volunteers. We ask our current volunteers to open doors for us into their employers. We offer the business the ability to provide their employees with community service opportunities in a meaningful, organized, and tailored environment. We choose and shape the volunteer experience to each company’s needs, be that team building, visibility to the community, scheduling limitations, or location. We make it easy to accomplish their goals while we get work done for our senior clients. The volunteers brought into contact with Neighborlink in this way become our future advocates and potential donors, because seeing the problems of our seniors first hand is very motivating to them. Businesses who work with NeighborLink often become partners in other ways such as providing in-kind donations of materials or providing grant funding.
In 2017, using volunteers and donated funding, we completed nearly 400 projects. Our funding partners have realized the importance of the work we do as well as our ability to stretch funding by leveraging volunteer efforts and donated materials whenever possible.
We have become a key component of the social services fabric of our community by offering services which our clientele cannot obtain from another provider.
We believe that we have defined and implemented an innovative model which can be implemented in cities across the country.
Main target group: Vulnerable older people (e.g. at risk or victims of abuse, living alone, poor etc.)
Other target group(s): Low income homeowners with disabilities
Desired outcome for older people:
Meet their basic needs
- Ageing in place
Name: Withey, David
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.orgPreferred language(s): English