For the past six years, the OrthoIndy Foundation has partnered with Greater Indy Habitat for Humanity to help provide and build a house every year for a veteran in need of affordable homeownership. OrthoIndy employees take part in the build and enjoy working alongside the homeowners, who help build their own home.
This year, OrthoIndy employees helped build a house for Whitney Hamilton. Whitney is a Vietnam-era veteran and auto mechanic. After getting into drugs and alcohol and becoming homeless, Whitney realized he wanted to get back on track.
Whitney did just that. He turned to a treatment program at Hoosier Veterans Assistance Foundation (HVAF), which lasted eight months. Now, Whitney has been clean for five years.
“It is an honor for the OrthoIndy Foundation to have this opportunity to express our gratitude and build a home for a veteran,” said John Dietz, OrthoIndy spine surgeon and member of the OrthoIndy Foundation board. “All of our lives have been touched by the sacrifices of our nation’s service men and women. We all sincerely hope that this home will welcome and shelter Whitney for many years to come.”
Becoming a homeowner
Through the organization Back on My Feet, Whitney was introduced to Habitat for Humanity and started the process of becoming a homeowner. This requires 300 sweat-equity hours, which includes homeownership and financial education classes and volunteer hours on the home before they purchase their home with a no-interest mortgage.
Not only does the OrthoIndy Foundation have a connection to Greater Indy Habitat for Humanity, but they also work closely with the Indianapolis chapter of Back on My Feet. Through grants, the OrthoIndy Foundation has also provided scholarships, running equipment, socials, coaching and case management to Back on My Feet.
“At my age, I never thought I would be a homeowner,” said Whitney. “The American dream is to be a homeowner. I believe that no matter what the situation looks like, you can’t fail if you never give up. I want to pay it forward and help other people who are struggling.”
Whitney is considering going through training to be part of Habitat for Humanity’s “Tiger Team” in the future. Tiger Team members volunteer and help with construction on new homes throughout greater Indianapolis.
Whitney has been very involved in the building process. “It’s great to be a part of this process and see the house come together,” said Whitney. “I get to see every aspect of the build. I saw it go from a piece of land to a home. I enjoy meeting all of the volunteers. People who don’t even know you will come help you build your home.”
Whitney credits all of the organizations that have helped him get to where he is today. “I want to thank OrthoIndy, Habitat for Humanity, Back on My Feet and HVAF. I couldn’t have done it without all of these groups and people. I’m truly grateful,” said Whitney.
Schedule an appointment
Your well-being is important to us. Click the button below or call us to schedule an appointment with one of our orthopedic specialists. If your injury or condition is recent, you can walk right into one of our OrthoIndy Urgent Care locations for immediate care. For rehabilitation and physical therapy, no referral is needed to see one of our physical therapists.