Homeless & ReEntry Helpers, Inc.
Office & Warehouse - 2457 E Washington St. Indianapolis, IN 46201
HHOOT's Diner is now closed - Please visit Meals Around Town

(317) 635-0500 Voice | (317) 632-0500 Cell | Mail@HRH.ooo
Helpers Helping Others Outreach Team (HHOOT)
Bringing Volunteers, Street Outreach, Street Ministries & Service Providers
together to better serve our Homeless, our Seniors, our Veterans,
and Offenders & ExOffenders in & out of our Prisons & Jails.
Homelessness in Indy Needs to be Reduced Sooner than Later.
It is time for a Public/Private Partnership to Build a Secular Homeless Shelter
and Authorize Safe Homeless Camp Sites for our Homeless Citizen in Indianapolis.

We Need: 1) a 150 bed Secular Shelter for the Homeless
(should include a separate wing
for 25 homeless Veterans and could include a separate wing for an Engagement Center for 25 people); and,

2) City-Recognized Extended-Stay Camp Sites for the Chronic Homeless.
Download the latest notes on the proposed Secular Homeless Shelter

If you share this goal for our homeless friends, please email me your ideas to Don Hawkins at hawkins@HHOOT.com
1 - Please post this request in with your weekly or monthly newsletters or bulletins.
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED - Helpers Helping Others Outreach Team (HHOOT) and the Homeless and ReEntry Industry are in need of Volunteers who are willing to serve as; Teachers, Tutors,  Mentors, Disciples, Churches and Food Preparers/Servers (we call Our HELPERS), that will help persons who are homeless, or persons who are in and out of our prisons and jails. We are also working with several Senior and Veterans programs.  To learn more about how you can start being one of Our HELPERS, please stop by one of our regularly scheduled meetings on the 2nd Tuesday of each month from 5:30 to 8:00 PM at 918 E. Michigan St. in Indy, or contact Don Hawkins at 317-635-0500, email him at hawkins@HHOOT.com, or visit www.IndyHelpers.com
2 - Basic Information About HHOOT
Legal Information: Helpers Helping Others Outreach Team, Inc. (HHOOT) was formed on the 23 of March 2011.  HHOOT's Federal ID # is: 45-1068057 - HHOOT is a subordinate of Homeless & ReEntry Helpers, Inc.(HRH), sharing there 501 (c)(3) obtained from the IRS on the 19Nov08.
New Volunteers - If you have the passion and the heart for helping those in need, we want to help you help them!  If you are not currently volunteering with an existing organization and you want to start volunteering somewhere, doing something, with an existing and experienced organization, please come to one of our HHOOT meetings or fill out our "R.S.V.P." link above and we will help direct you to an organization that can use your special services and talents. 
3- What the Helpers Helping Others Outreach Team Is All About
Since HRH was formed (Aug08), we have always wanted to organize a network of Volunteers (we now call Our HELPERS) to better serve the homeless and those in-and-out of our prisons and jails.  In researching the Homeless and the ReEntry industry we found that the only successful "Ending Homelessness" and "Reducing Recidivism" programs around the country were those that used a large number of un-paid volunteers from the community to "fill the gaps".  Because of the recent negative publicity that the media has bestowed upon our un-paid volunteers, we thought it was a good time to start getting organized.  That is, in a nutshell, why the Helpers Helping Others Outreach Team was formed.  Someone needed to organize (bring together) the vast number of up-paid volunteers into a strategic and cohesive working group (Team Members) that will better serve our homeless friends and neighbors in a way that is helpful and not harmful.

Government Can Not Do It All -
In order for HHOOT to accomplish our goals, we believe that all of us (in Group 4 below) need to work within the framework of what the the City of Indianapolis, CHIP and a few professional service providers (in Groups 1, 2 & 3) have already started, while at the same time maintaining each of our street outreach and street ministries identities and goals.  We acknowledge the fact that the existing service providers that work with the homeless have most of  the "professional" experience, money and resources, that is what they are getting paid for - we are not.  We feel that HHOOT members provide what we are calling "the missing link" in helping to solve some of the short term problems of the homeless.  The bottom line is, that there a lot more us un-paid volunteers than there are of them.  Our HELPERS are offering our vast source of resources to the community to fill "that gap" in those existing services.   HHOOT's job is not to do their job, HHOOT's job is to help them do their job better!

HHOOT's Purpose - Make sure that all the homeless persons we can find, have access to: 1) Food, water, clothing, and personal hygiene items; 2) Information on where they can get help with some type of housing that will get them off the street into a safe environment; such as shelters, transitional and supportive housing; 3) Information on where they can get professional help such as counseling for mental health, medical problems, drug and alcohol addictions, etc., and; 4) A relationship with a new friend, spiritual help, or just someone they can talk to about their faith and/or their needs.

HHOOT's Primary Goal - Bring together, organize, and train all volunteers that are working as; street outreach, street ministries, and service providers who are currently working with, or wants to work with, the homeless community; who will also agree to abide by a set of rules and guidelines that HHOOT members have set for themselves that will: “Bring It All Together for the Homeless”.

HHOOT's Secondary Goal -
Get all the outreach groups to start sharing and/or combining their “soft assets” such as: time, talent, experiences, and knowledge to better serve our brothers and sisters on the streets.  (We are not asking anyone to combine any "hard assets" such as money & supplies.)  Coordinating our schedules and the locations we serve, so as not to duplicate services and waste "hard assets".  Start working together as a unified and organized team.  In doing so, I believe we can help solve some of the problems of the homeless that will eventually get them off the streets into a safer environment.  From there, they can work with the professional service providers and housing providers that can help them obtain the goods and services they will need to get them back on their feet, and in time, get into permanent housing.
24Apr10 (revised 26Dec10 at 0455)
4 - Why Form a Outreach Team for Homeless Outreach? (Written before HHOOT was formed)
In society’s haste to solve the homeless problem, somehow we volunteers, street outreach teams (faith and community based), are being blamed for some of the problems of the homeless, even to the point of being called “Enablers” which now seems to be a dirty word.  We volunteers need to correct that.  We also need to correct the misconception that the city, CHIP, and other service organizations are not doing very much to help the homeless.  I can't dispute the fact that they did get off to a slow start, but since new management has arrived at CHIP several months ago, they have changed direction and are now very pro-active in working with existing service providers to achieve their goals as outlined in the City's Blue Print to End Homelessness.  We all know that nothing in government ever gets done as fast as we want it to get done, and solving the complex problems of the homeless is no exception.  I truly believe that help is on its way.

We all know that homelessness is everyone’s problem, whether you like it or not, people living on our streets are here to stay and will remain here until we, collectively, as a community, as a society, do something about it.  Believe it or not, our city government does not have all the answers for all of our problems, and they cannot solve the homeless problems alone.  They need our help as volunteers, as HELPERS.  The sooner we community members, as volunteers and HELPERS, start dealing with it and working together with the city, the sooner we can collectively come up with some solutions.

In my opinion, what society, some service providers, and the media are calling “enablers” I call HELPERS, volunteers, street outreach teams, and even angels to some of the homeless people they are helping.  Whether you believe enablers (religious or otherwise) are good or bad, they are here to stay and will continue to serve, as long as our brothers and sisters are living on the streets.  I am one of those HELPERS who believes that we HELPERS need to be better organized, be better informed, and get better trained, so we can continue to be part of the solution and not part of the problem.  Our goal is, and always will be, to make things a little better for the homeless, not worse.

We need to start communicating better with each other on how we can help the homeless today, tonight and tomorrow.  We know the city government and several private organizations are working on the “next week, next month, next year” solutions, but we HELPERS know that next week or next month may be too late for some that need help TODAY.

We all know the stigmas of the homeless: They are dirty, they are scary, they stink, they don’t work, they are uneducated, they are unstable, they are thieves, they are all convicts, they are all lazy and they are a disgrace to the community.  And, more importantly, most of us know that the above stigmas are NOT ALL TRUE.  At this point how some of you personally feel about the homeless is not as important to me as it is for you to help us find some short-term solutions for their long-term problems.  I can assure you that there is not one homeless person that I have met the last several years that actually wants to be living on the street, or under a bridge; any more than a city or a neighborhood wants them there.  Remember, they haven’t always been homeless and, more importantly, with a little help, they will not always be homeless.  They are our “family members” which are veterans, elderly, disabled, mentally ill, ExOffenders, and women and children that need our help.  They are stuck in a place somewhere between where they were and where they are going; and I truly believe that if you were in their shoes, you would want someone to help you and your family get off the street and back on your feet.

We HELPERS are just that, HELPERS (volunteers), usually doing what we do at our own expense.  We are people with the time, the talent, and the heart to hit the streets; we just want to make sure that we are doing the right thing for the right reason without complicating things.

We, collectively, need to develop some guidelines.  We need to come up with a set of standards on how, what, and when we bring donated items like food and clothes to the homeless.  We have learned that sometimes too much of one thing at one time is not always a good thing.  We need to better coordinate our efforts.  We need to spread out our resources.  We need to instruct our volunteers not to bring things like: firewood, Bunsen burners, butane heaters, candles and mattresses to the bridges.  Sometimes, liability can be passed on to the HELPER if something goes wrong such as the fire we had a few weeks ago at the Davidson Street Bridge site.  If HELPERS have items like this they want to donate, they should be directed to a service provider that can properly dispense those items to safer locations.

We need to better organize our schedules, our services, our resources, and ourselves to develop guidelines, training, support, information, etc. necessary to help our friends on the street.  I believe working with the existing service providers is the proper course of action.  We do not need to wait for another agency or government program to develop or get funded.  We need to start working within the existing system and start helping the homeless sooner, rather than later.

In the coming days, weeks and months ahead we are going to organize the existing HELPERS to become a more productive unit that will work with our existing community members, service providers and city officials to better serve the homeless community living on the streets of Indianapolis – They need our “collective” help, and together we can "Bring It All Together" for the homeless.
3 March 2010 (Revised 9Jun10 at 2355)
5 - How Do We Start a Outreach Team for the Homeless?  (Written before HHOOT was formed)
The information on this page and the PDF documents attached are my notes that we can use as a starting point to begin working on a set of “Guidelines” that will enable us HELPERS, to better serve the homeless.  I don't claim to have all the answers at this point, but I do want the opportunity to try to help bring it all together for those that are not as fortunate as we are; and I hope by your willingness to join our Helpers Helping Others Outreach Team, that you are, too.

We Need a Plan
We know there are still some gaps to be filled in the existing system of getting the homeless off the streets of Indianapolis.  Our plan and our goal is to help fill those existing gaps as soon as possible.  Our plan starts by: 1) Forming an outreach team - to be named “Helpers Helping Others Outreach Team” (Done); then, 2) Bring all the street outreach, street ministries, and volunteers together that want to share their experiences, their knowledge, their talent, and their resources to help the homeless; then, 3) Bring all the professional and experienced service providers (public and private), that are working with the homeless, that are willing to educate and train Our HELPERS (CHIP, HIP and Horizon House are already working with some street outreach teams); then, 4) Start meeting regularly to learn how we can all start working together as a team to "Bring It All Together" for the Homeless.

What We Know - We know there are several service providers and street outreach teams out there, with limited resources, that are helping some of the homeless, but they can not do it all, and they are not all working together.  Most service providers, street outreach, and street ministries are still “doing their own thing” and not working together and sharing their experiences as a team.  I know some of them think they are working together but they are forgetting about the rest of us that have been doing what we are doing for just as long as they have, and sometimes even longer, but are not as big or as well funded as they are.

We Know That - Homelessness has no respect for color, creed, religion, or political affiliation.  We need to set aside, our differences, our arrogance, our egos, our political affiliations, our differences in faith, color, or creed, and start working together.  We need to start combining our time, talent, knowledge, and resources to better help our brothers and sisters to get off the streets.

For those of you that have successful homeless outreach programs we do not want to do anything to interfere with your success.  We hope you are willing to share your experiences and your knowledge so we can learn from your success.  If you are one of the smaller, lesser funded organizations that wants to learn how to work smarter by working together, we hope that you may want to start working with some of the bigger organizations, or at least start working within our Helpers Helping Others Outreach TeamEither way, we all need to share our knowledge and our experience so we can start learning from each other and start working together, so as not to duplicate services and waste valuable resources.

Our Goal as HELPERS -  is to work within the guidelines of the city’s “Blueprint to End Homelessness”, side by side with CHIP, in working with existing service providers and the city of Indianapolis to help with the immediate needs of the homeless that have already lost almost everything and are currently living on the streets.  The homeless need our help NOW, today, tonight and tomorrow.  The government and other agencies can work on the long-term “Prevention Side” of the problem, in finding ways to “Develop Permanent Housing”, next week, next month and next year.

Our “Calling” as Christians and HELPERS is to help solve some of the short-term, day-to-day problems of the homeless by working directly with them, wherever they are currently living, as often as we can, as a team to help them get off the streets and into a safer environment.  That is what we HELPERS do best: help those in need.  We HELPERS are willing to do what we can to get the homeless to the professional service providers that can help get them get the goods and services they need, and more importantly, into some type of supportive or other permanent housing program.
3 March 2010 (Revised 21Mar10 at 0315)
6 - Additional Information About HHOOT
1.  Intro letter to all street outreach &
      street ministries teams

2.  Press Release of the 20May Meeting
3.  Initial Meeting Agenda

4.  Helpers Helping Others Outreach Team -
      Organizational Chart w/Notes

5.  Proposed HHOOT Guidelines -
      Work in Progress
6.  HOOP Guidelines

17April 2010 (Revised 5Dec10 at 0125)
10.  HHOOT PowerPoint Presentation
11.  HRH's Flyer / Poster

12.  HHOOT "Little Yellow Card" front
13.  HHOOT "Little Yellow Card" back
14.  Survey & Questionnaire -
        Still being worked on (still working on)
15.  "HHOOT's Gathering" (Fall 2010)

        "Sermon on the Mount"
16. HHOOT Introduction Flyer
17. HHOOT Saturday Dining Flyer

18. HHOOT's Gathering (Spring 2011)
       "The Fruit of the Spirit"
7- Information On Our Next Meeting
8 - What To Expect From Each Training Class
Agenda for Each Meeting - We will discuss:
1) The four Supporting Groups as outlined (below);
2) The results of the Survey and Questionnaire from our proposed members;
3) The outline on how we can start working together, and on what levels;
4) The outline of a training program that we can all come together on; and,
5) Whatever else you want to talk about - complaints, suggestions, etc.

I have had several people ask me if there is going to be some type of membership or certification process to be part of HHOOT.  At this point I believe we will have some type of Membership w/ID card program, but I am not sure about a certification program, at least not until next summer.

I have also had several people ask me who is going to help manage, coordinate and/or train the volunteers.  I have asked Gene, Ralph & Joyce (above) to help me coordinate our efforts.  We are still looking for a management team (Steering Committee) of existing "Experienced (not professional) Street Ministries Persons" to help with the rest.  I think we still need a few more meetings to see who is interested in participating long-term in the management, scheduling and helping out of the sub-committees, etc.
(Revised 12Dec10 at 1400)
Stop by and learn how we plan to; better Communicate, better Cooperate, & better Coordinate our efforts to better serve the Homeless & ReEntry industry in Indy.
Training Classes are in Two Parts: (Training classes are on hold till the first of the year)
Part One - Newcomers Classes (Volunteering 101)If you are a new volunteer, you will be asked to sit thru a class for "New Volunteers".  This class is meant to bring you up to date on "Who is Who" in our industry.  It is important to HHOOT that you have some basic background information on the history of helping people in Indianapolis, especially in the homeless and reentry industry, and that you know your options on where you may, or may not, fit in.
Then, you will be learn from: 1) visiting speakers; 2) videos; and, 3) Power Point Presentations, etc. on HHOOT's Rules and Regulations that we have collectively established to help ourselves be better volunteers; and more importantly, be better informed TEAM MEMBERS.  This class will also inform you of your options on: 1) where you may want to fit in; 2) where you may want to volunteer; and/or, 3) what type of volunteer you may want to do.
Part Two - Ongoing Classes:  After you have attended the Newcomers Class you can start attending our Ongoing Meetings that meet twice each month.  (You are not required to attend every meeting).  These meetings will consist of: 1) Being  brought up-to-date on any rules and regulations that may have been changed or added; 2) Listening to two professional service providers that will tell us about their organization, how they operate, and how we can fit in and/or work with them; 3)  Listen to previously homeless persons that are currently not homeless anymore and how they got that way; 4) Taking your questions and/or suggestions; 5 . . .
As always, we will ask you to bring a new friend/volunteer to the next meeting.
still working on this section . . . . 
(Revised 23Oct10 at 0035)
9 - Fast Facts about the homeless in Indianapolis
All from CHIP’s web site.  For more current and detailed information on the homeless in Indianapolis, please visit: www.ChipIndy.org

Definition of homelessness - HUD considers a person to be homeless if he or she meets one of two different classifications: 1) resides in a place not meant for human habitation, such as a car, park, sidewalk, abandoned building, or on the street (unsheltered homeless person); or 2) resides in an emergency shelter or transitional housing for homeless persons who originally came from the streets or emergency shelters (sheltered homeless).  Note that those who are “doubled-up” (living with friends or extended family on a temporary basis) do not meet HUD’s definition. We know from other sources (McKinney-Vento Act liaisons) that if we included “doubled-up” families, the number of homeless persons would be much higher.

Facts about Homelessness Details - Despite investments of time, energy, and millions of dollars, many Indianapolis residents have repeated spells of homelessness.  The people who are homeless include families, veterans, domestic violence victims, and youth "Aging Out" of foster care.  Homelessness results from many factors, including employment in low-paying jobs, unemployment, mental illness, substance abuse, prisoner reintegration, and medical disability/lack of insurance.  However, the loss of affordable housing, which leads to high rent burdens, overcrowding, and substandard housing, is the leading cause of homelessness.
  1.  Total Homeless in Indianapolis - In the Summer of 2009 they counted 1,545 homeless persons on the night of the count
  2.  Families make up about 42% of the local homeless population

In 2009 they estimated from 4,400 to 7,300 people experiencing homelessness over the course of a year in Indianapolis
Males vs. Females - Two-thirds of the individuals experiencing homelessness are male
  5.  Veterans - As many as 28% of the people homeless and living on the streets may be veterans.
African-American - As in previous counts, approximately one-half (51%) of the population experiencing homelessness is African-American.
Under 18 - Approximately one-fourth (24%) of the population experiencing homelessness is under 18.
Age Range - Of the adults with a known age, the largest percentage fall in the 41-51 age range (20%).
Employed - When asked, 21% of the adults indicated that they were employed (down from 25% in the Winter count).
School - Another 13% (compared to 14% in the Winter count) indicated that they were in school.
ExOffenders - Released from a prison, state institution, hospital, or other facility following a stay of more than one (1) week, 183 (11.84%) had been released recently from prison or other institutions.
Homeless Count Results by Subpopulation, 2009
2009 Summer Count Finds Economy Affecting Homeless (Nov09)
The entire report is available on CHIP’s web site
  Persons in emergency shelters Persons in transitional shelters Persons unsheltered (“street”) Total






Chronically homeless*

66 120




Severely mentally ill

70 175




Persons w/chronic substance
  abuse problems

108 324










Persons with HIV/AIDS

5 9




Victims of domestic violence

106 159




*Chronic homelessness is defined as the following: an unaccompanied homeless individual with a disabling condition who has either been continuously homeless for a year or more or has had at least four episodes of homelessness in the past three years. To be considered chronically homeless, persons must have been sleeping in a place not meant for human habitation (e.g., living on the streets) and/or in emergency shelter during that time.
10- Other Fast Facts about the Homeless
  1. Housing the Homeless - A study by the Department of Housing and Urban Development finds that the average monthly cost to house the homeless varies widely. For individuals Emergency shelter Transitional housing Market-rate rent, one-bedroom apt. Des Moines $581 $1,386 $549 Jacksonville $799 $870 $643 Houston $968 $1,654 $612 For families Emergency shelter Transitional housing Market-rate rent, two-bedroom apt. Houston $1,391 $3,340 $743 Kalamazoo, Mich. $1,614 $813 $612 Greenville, S.C. $2,269 $1,209 $599 Washington $3,530 $2,170 $1,225.
  2. According to a national report released April 21, 2010 that provides data on the cost of rental housing for every county, metropolitan area and state in the nation, the Housing Wage for Indiana is $13.58.  The Housing Wage is the hourly wage a family must earn - working 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year - to be able to afford rent and utilities in the private housing market.  This is an increase from the 2009 Housing Wage of $13.41. The report provides the Housing Wage and other data for every state, metropolitan area, combined non metropolitan area, and county in the country.  For additional information on the report, visit http://www.nlihc.org/oor2010/.
11- Do your homework.  Read thru some of this information on the Homeless.
  1. CHIP's Blueprint to end Homelessness
  2. CHIP's Blueprint to end Homelessness (Update - Community Progress Report 2009)
  3. CHIP's Indianapolis Homeless Count 2009 Shows More Families Homeless
  4. CHIP's 2009 Summer Count Finds Economy Affecting Homeless
  5. CHIP's Homeless Count Report 2010
  6. Local Media (TV & Newspaper) on the Homeless
  7. HRH's Reference & Research Information on the Homeless
  8. Will Work for Food - Can we really do anything to help the people on the streets?
  9. 8 Guidelines in Helping the Homeless
  10. 35 Ways to Help the Homeless
  11. The Bible on the Poor or Why God is a liberal - I don't believe a lot of his intellectual commentary (especially about God being a liberal) but it is a good read.
  12.  What the Bible says about to poor? - From World Vision.  This is good and has the Bible verses to back it up.
  13.  Helping Others Helps You -
  14. NEW - Help the Homeless - Some Easy Advice
Form #4 (Revised 1May11 at 0415)
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