Foundation’s Newest Community Leadership Initiative is Game-Changer for Senior Community
Hamilton County has the highest per capita income ($84,449) in Indiana, yet 30 percent of its citizens 65 years of age and older live on less than $15,000 annually. There is no shortage of organizations to assist Hamilton County seniors living in poverty, but it is frequently challenging for elders to identify their most pressing needs and which organization to call to meet them.
To address this and other concerns, Legacy Fund, a Central Indiana Community Foundation affiliate serving Hamilton County, has committed to convene community organizations and provide up to $50,000 annually for four years to Reaching Resources, a new program founded and led by Shepherd’s Center of Hamilton County, an organization providing programs that support independent lifestyles for older adults. Reaching Resources will connect seniors with programs and services to improve their quality of life, prevent isolation and help maintain independence. The program also aims to close the gap and target inefficiencies in services available to Hamilton County seniors.
“Reaching Resources will serve as a guide to resources and will advocate, assist and support seniors in Hamilton County,” says Lauren Guynn, executive director, Shepherd’s Center, which was founded in 1985 to provide programs that promote and support independent lifestyles for seniors.
The program will aggregate up-to-date and accurate information about programs from senior-serving agencies throughout Hamilton County and thereby streamline the process those in need can receive help. The new program, initially funded by Legacy Fund, will convene organizations and community leaders to maximize impact and efficiency.
Reaching Resources plans to launch in Sheridan where 68 percent of the senior population qualify for assistance. Additionally, Shepherd’s Center recognizes that resources in rural areas, such as Sheridan, are limited. Over the next five years, Reaching Resources will expand throughout Hamilton County and aims to become self-sustaining.
Since 1998, Legacy Fund’s proactive Community Leadership Initiative has convened, invested in or championed countywide efforts in issues such as adult education, youth programs, economic development, alcohol and substance abuse and basic needs. Most recently, Legacy Fund supported the countywide expansion of Youth Assistance Program, an early intervention program created to help at-risk youth avoid making mistakes that lead to long-term involvement in the county’s legal system.
“Legacy Fund’s commitment to a four-year focus on Hamilton County’s seniors reflects our continued belief that working together, our community can solve our most intractable problems,” says Terry Anker, Legacy Fund president. “We are proud to work with Shepherd Center and other organizations to transform the lives our elders, providing them with the support, connection and dignity they deserve.”
For more information about Reaching Resources, visit shepherdscenterofhamiltoncounty.org.