April 24, 2024

OrthoIndy Foundation Success Story: Helping Veterans and Families

OrthoIndy News

OrthoIndy Foundation is celebrating over $10 million in grants to organizations throughout the state who make a significant impact in the health, mobility and overall well-being of individuals and their communities. These are some of their stories.

Helping Veterans And Families (HVAF) helps homeless veterans return to self-sufficiency and engages at-risk veterans and their families to prevent them from becoming homeless by providing supportive housing, case management, employment support, therapy, and basic needs including food, hygiene, and clothing. In 2023, HVAF served 1,349 veterans and provided over 37,000 life-changing services.

One of the over 1,300 veterans HVAF had the honor of serving was Army and Marine Corps veteran Leroy.

After serving in the Army and the Marines in the 1980s, Leroy found himself homeless. He also battled an addiction to drugs and alcohol.

“I’ve been homeless about 7 times in 23 states,” Leroy said. “I used to smoke crack cocaine and I used to run from crack cocaine, and I didn’t realize that transitioning from one state to another that it would still be there, but it was.”

It wasn’t until almost four decades later, when Leroy ended up in Indiana, that he found sobriety. He came to Indiana in December 2020 for cancer treatment. Since then, he lived in HVAF’s transitional housing for two years and has now lived in HVAF’s permanent housing apartments, Veterans Villa, since January 2023.

“I like living at Veterans Villa because I’m not homeless anymore, and it’s a pleasant atmosphere to live,” Leroy said. “Not to mention, I’m in love with my apartment, I really am, because it’s mine.”

Leroy is able to love his apartment so much because of the wonderful support OrthoIndy has provided. The projects they have provided support for, such as making the first-floor bathrooms ADA friendly, has made the apartment building feel like a home to so many Hoosier Heroes.

Now that Leroy is safely and comfortably housed, his next steps include helping him get more involved in the community and continuing to help him stay clean and self-sufficient.

“I’ve been clean three years on December 1, 2023” Leroy said. “And I’m thankful that I’ve had this place to lean on because if not, I really do believe I would be out there on the streets.”

HVAF is so grateful for community partners, like OrthoIndy, who have joined their mission to end veteran homelessness in Central Indiana.

“We are grateful to OrthoIndy for supporting HVAF as we work to end veteran homelessness,” HVAF CEO Emmy Hildebrand said. “Their investment in Veterans Villa and other HVAF facilities ensure that our properties are fully accessible to the veterans we serve.”

Watch Leroy’s story here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PwRhY8ZJKQs&t=3s

The OrthoIndy Foundation

In December of 2012, OrthoIndy established and funded the OrthoIndy Foundation, whose Mission Statement reads as follows:

The mission of the OIF is to improve mobility and function, specifically for the residents of Central Indiana –with a particular emphasis on veterans and the elderly– by benefiting the end users to increase self-sufficiency, promote wellness, and improve the quality of life for those affected by orthopedic issues.

Since it’s founding, OrthoIndy Foundation has been there for hundreds of people. Learn more about the foundation here, and learn how you can contribute and become a volunteer by clicking here. You can read more of our success stories here.

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