Horizon House, Inc.

Horizon House, Inc. Logo

Basic Information

Address: 1033 E. Washington Street Indianapolis, IN 46202
Phone Number: 317-423-8909 ext. 310
Fax Number: 317-423-8906
Director: John Joanette

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Additional Information

Causes Served: Homeless Intervention Services
Background Check: No
Population Served: Homeless Population of Central Indiana
Ages for Volunteer: Must be 18 or over to directly interact with clients
Hours of Service: 7a-7p Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday; 7a-1p Wednesday; and 8a-4p Saturday
Minimum Hours Required: Flexible
Days of Service: Monday-Saturday
Mission Statement:

With a commitment to hospitality, respect, and dignity, the mission of Horizon House is to be an advocate for homeless neighbors and to provide personalized service that empowers them to permanently end their homelessness.

Philosophy/Belief Statement:

Horizon House embodies the belief that all human beings have the right to have their basic needs for food, clothing, shelter, and personal safety met in a dignified, humane and caring manner that respects a person's right to self-determination. We believe it takes a collaborative community response to uphold and give substance to these basic rights. We commit to being a focal point in this endeavor, offering our services and advocacy in a spirit of genuine hospitality and professional care.

Program History:

In September 1987 the Homeless Network of Indianapolis, in conjunction with the United Way/Community Service Council, the City of Indianapolis, Office of the Mayor, the Department of Metropolitan Development and All Saints Episcopal Church established a list of priorities for addressing the problem of homelessness in Indianapolis. The top priority on this list was the need for a daytime multi-service agency that could help coordinate the many services offered to homeless individuals around the city. From this priority emerged the Indianapolis Day Center.

On Nov. 21 1988 the Indianapolis Day Center opened through the cooperative efforts of Shepherd Community, Inc., and the Salvation Army was recruited to manage the agency based on its experience working with homeless persons and with their case management program.

On January 1, 1994, the Indianapolis Day Center's Board of Directors felt a need to further secularize the identity of The Day Center in order to broaden its base of support. The Day Center shifted to independent management, breaking its long-standing relationship with the Salvation Army, and creating a new tie to the United Way of Central Indiana. Later that month the Board of Directors voted to change the name of the agency in an effort to strengthen its identity, and thus originated Horizon House.

In 1994 Horizon House formulated a long-term strategic plan which called for the relocation of the agency to a larger facility which could accommodate more programs and better facilitate our mission.

Horizon House was able to secure additional funding from Lilly Endowment Inc., Central Indiana Community Foundation, United Way of Central Indiana, Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the AmeriCorps program. This funding allowed Horizon House to purchase the facility at 1033 East Washington Street and to begin implementing the Strategic Plan with additional hours and programming beginning August 8, 2001.


Horizon House hosts a variety of special events throughout the year both as fundraisers for the organization and to serve homeless neighbors in unique ways.

Additional Information:


Volunteer Opportunities
Breakfast Service:
The mornings are our busiest time, and breakfast is of course one of the most popular things. Our staff puts out the bread, donuts and coffee in the morning, but after that they have to be up at the front desk and do not have time to help in the kitchen. It is great to have a volunteer there that can say good morning to our neighbors and help them with anything they need. For example, a volunteer is there to make sure that we have not run out of peanut butter or coffee.  The neighbors also just appreciate someone behind the counter who is willing to offer a smile and conversation. Schedule: Mon.-Fri.—7am-10:30am
Donation Center:
Horizon House receives donations from members of our community each day to help us meet the needs of the     homeless neighbors of Central Indiana.  We are always looking for volunteers to work with us to sort through the donations to make the case manager's lives easier as they distribute the clothes to clients. Clothing is packaged up for donations to Salvation Army in exchange for vouchers to their facility, and reorganization is always necessary.
Schedule: Mon., Tues., Thurs., Fri.—7am-6pm; Wed.—7am-1pm; Sat.—8am-4pm
Opportunity Knocks Assistant:
Our Opportunity Knocks (OK) job preparation class is one of our most successful programs at Horizon House. Once an individual has completed our week long class, they are then able to use our computer lab for job searching, resume building, housing, etc. Unfortunately many of our neighbors are not very familiar with computers, and it can be very nice to have someone there to help with general computer questions. These questions include things like how to use a specific search engine, how to attach a resume to an online application, or helping someone who struggles with literacy. Another perk for a person in OK is they receive a hot lunch every weekday from Second Helpings at 11:30am. It is often nice to have a volunteer who can help put together a balanced meal and then serve.
Schedule: Mon.-Fri.—8am-12pm; 1pm-3pm
Opportunity Knocks Mock Interview Administrator:
Every day in OK our students learn a variety of skills to help them gain and maintain sufficient employment. The importance of an interview is well known, and it can be the deciding factor for any employer. Interviews are always nerve-wracking, and so it is important to practice. On Thursdays our teacher carries out mock interviews. However, by that point in the week many of the students are already comfortable with this person, so it is not a realistic situation. If an outside individual comes in to interview our neighbors it is a much better simulation, because they have to talk to someone they have never met—like a real interview.
Schedule: Thurs.—10am-11:30am
Dinner Service:
The evening is a different time for Horizon House. Our numbers are very low, as we normally see about 5-10 neighbors. This time is allotted for those who are working or getting an education, so they are unable to access our services during the day. This gives them the opportunity to shower, bathe, check their mail, make phone calls, check their email or meet with a case manager. We also serve dinner, and our staff often prepares this. However, when we have volunteers there to help it frees up our staff to serve those that are there. We rely completely on the food that is donated, so it often requires creativity to figure out exactly what is in our kitchen! Although you are not seeing as many individuals, you are helping them stay motivated through a meal and kind words of encouragement as they are working towards self-sufficiency.
Schedule: Mon.-Tues.—4pm-6pm; Thurs.-Fri.—4-6pm
Guest Service Associate Assistant:
Our GSA serves as our front-line staff. They are the first ones to welcome our neighbors and show them our mission of hospitality, dignity and respect. Some of their responsibilities include checking people in, handing out items, facilitating services, and handling many of the general dayroom questions and issues that arise. This can be a very busy job, and so there are opportunities to help out at this front desk by answering questions, signing people up for services, handing out mail, getting toiletry items and meeting other basic needs. This is an excellent way to see not only the day-to-day operations of Horizon House but also get a better understanding of the lives of our neighbors.
Schedule: Mon., Tues., Thurs., Fri.—7am-3pm; Wed.—7am-1pm; Sat.—8am-4pm
Survey Administrator:
We are now starting to administer surveys to our neighbors for funders, partners and our own use. It is important to get feedback on a quarterly or bi-annual basis to see if our neighbors utilize our services and if those services are effective. We need volunteers to help us collect that data by going through our dayroom and using our survey to find out this necessary information.
Schedule: Seasonal
We believe that it is important as an organization to be good to our community, and one way we want to do that is to make sure that we keep our building looking nice. We do not want to add to the stigma that the homeless are not clean or unable to take care of things, so it is important that Horizon House represents our homeless neighbors well. We also want it to be a welcoming place for everyone. One way we can do that is by keeping our grounds looking nice and well kept. That requires consistent care that our staff does not always have the time to do. Volunteers are needed to help us keep this image.
Schedule: Flexible

Please contact Lauren Berentes for further information regarding volunteer opportunities within Horizon House!