July 23, 2019

OrthoIndy Foundation’s partnership with Habitat for Humanity results in another home

OrthoIndy News

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.” 

Giving back

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.

Learn more about OrthoIndy Foundation. 

Contact Greater Indy Habitat for Humanity to refer a veteran in need of affordable homeownership. 

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Julia Steele

By Julia Steele

Julia is the 2019 summer marketing intern at OrthoIndy. Julia is working on a bachelor’s degree in public relations, a minor in communication studies, and a concentration in media analytics at Ball State University. Julia will graduate May 2020.

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