New Hope of Indiana | Our Stories
For over forty years, New Hope of Indiana has been committed to supporting individuals and families, encouraging them to live their most independent, fulfilling lives. Through services for individuals with disabilities, counseling for families in the child welfare system and advocacy efforts, New Hope of Indiana is making an impact in our communities every day.
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Our Stories

26 May - Zeller, Speak!

Greetings friends, I hope this Memorial Day finds you well. Memorial Day is the day we remember and thank all the men and women who have served so selflessly in the Armed Forces. I thank each of them for their service. I also thank my fellow canines, who have served in the Armed Forces in many different roles. Canines have been Sentry dogs meaning they accompany guards on patrol and warn them of the approach or presence of a stranger. Scout or Patrol dogs are trained to work in silence to aid in detecting snipers. Messenger dogs have learned to travel...

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26 May - A Work in Progress

It was around this time one year ago that our generous donors gave over $27,000 at the Silver Cup Celebration to renovate New Hope's art room, supporting the Art Therapy and Day Services programs. After months of planning and securing the appropriate licenses and permits, work is underway at Payne Road. The renovation began by removing the remnants of the 40-year-old dish room which were no longer needed including a large, three-compartment sink. The remodeled room will have a large, new storage closet, a new ceiling, fresh paint and more space for our clients to enjoy and create their art....

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26 May - Telehealth and the New Look of Therapy Services

As we continue to adapt to a new normal forced upon us by the COVID-19 pandemic, our number one priority is the health and well-being of the individuals we serve. Many of those individuals thrive with a steady routine and the support of behavioral therapists, recreation therapists and music therapists among many others. At New Hope, these therapy services generally take place in-person and rely on the individual's ability to connect with the therapist. One of the biggest challenges for New Hope and other services providers like it has been pivoting these services to be provided virtually. Despite the obvious...

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22 May - Pandemic Milestones

Helena Spychala is a busy young woman! After graduating from North Central High School in 2017, Helena has spent countless hours volunteering at the YMCA and St. Vincent Hospital, practicing her pottery skills at ArtMix and learning vital skills for adulthood through an IPS grant-funded program called SITE – Skills for Independence, Transition and Employment. In partnership with IUPUI, SITE brings together a group of young adults with disabilities to learn how to navigate the public transportation system, find volunteer opportunities to prepare them for future employment and experience life on a college campus. While in the SITE program, Helena...

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15 May - Mission Minute: The Burden of Compassion Fatigue

This month, New Hope is recognizing Mental Health Awareness Month in many ways. We know that this situation has taken an extra toll on everyone, but especially on those we serve and their caregivers. The feeling of isolation, the added stress and the incredible uncertainty make a hard job even tougher for all of our frontline caregivers. They continue to serve selflessly in homes across our communities despite this added stress, and we are so grateful for their dedication. While some may not see it, we know that compassion fatigue is a real issue for many caregivers. Compassion fatigue is...

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14 May - Service Spotlight: Penny Laster

Penny Laster, like so many of our frontline caregivers, is one of the hardest workers you’ll ever meet. Often working 60-hour weeks, Penny spends more time with her New Hope family than her own most weeks. Why does she do it? Because she loves her job. Penny has been a Direct Support Professional (DSP) for about 10 years, the last two of which have been spent at New Hope. Her favorite part of the job is caring for the individuals she serves and being a part of a dedicated team of other like-minded caregivers. During the COVID-19 crisis, New Hope has...

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28 Apr - A Note from Allison: We Will Fight This Together

Hello from New Hope of Indiana- Just like many of you, I live in a constant state of worry, hearing so much bad news and being constantly concerned about the New Hope individuals served and their caregivers. I am sad to report that the coronavirus has reached New Hope and our amazing caregivers are doing everything they can do to keep the individuals served and themselves safe and healthy. At this point, approximately 5% of the individuals currently being served have a confirmed case of COVID19. Luckily, the vast majority of these individuals are still living at home and are either...

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28 Apr - Recognizing New Hope’s Quiet Professionals

While most people who know New Hope of Indiana know us for our services for those with disabilities, there is another, smaller program working quietly and diligently to do some of our community’s most important work. As we recognize April’s National Child Abuse Prevention Month, we also want to recognize the dedicated counselors, case managers and other professionals who are serving families in crisis through New Hope’s Home-Based Counseling program. These professionals provide services to families referred through the Department of Child Services, in cases where there has been substantiated abuse or neglect in the home. Through this program New...

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27 Apr - Zeller, Speak!

Greetings friends, Last month I wrote about being anxious to get back to my regular routine, especially my work life! It is hard to believe we are still sheltering in place. My sister Charlotte and I have been enjoying the sunshine when it’s here. We have done a lot of indoor playing and had a few car ides too. I know New Hope staff continues to find fun things for everyone to do like the Friday night movie and Kiwanis bingo last Thursday. It’s good to stay busy while we wait this out. I miss seeing everyone and look forward to being with...

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27 Apr - I am cool. I am great. I am nice and friendly.

At New Hope we're always looking for ways to celebrate, and in April, we're celebrating Autism Awareness month. Autism is an often misunderstood disorder and can be very different for those affected by it. To get a better understanding, we spoke to New Hope client Steven and his family. Steven joined New Hope last year as part of the AIM program after graduating from high school. He also enjoys his time with Janus Developmental Services where he receives additional services. We asked Steven a few questions about himself, his autism and how he's spending his time at home during the...

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24 Apr - New Hope Thanks Our Caregivers

New Hope of Indiana's Day of Caring on April 17th was a day of gratitude, appreciation and support for New Hope and its frontline caregivers. Thanks to our generous donors, New Hope raised over $6,500 in support for New Hope in honor of all of our caregivers including Direct Support Professionals (DSPs), Team Leaders and Nurses. These caregivers have been working round the clock to keep the lives of those we serve as close to normal as possible and to ensure their health, safety and happiness. To celebrate all of their hard work and dedication, New Hope leaders distributed yard...

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15 Apr - Mission Minute: Getting Creative at Home

As we continue to react to and manage the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic here at New Hope, we are holding on tight to our Core Values. This month, Creativity has been one of the most valuable tools for our associates and families as we weather this storm at home. Our Core Value of Creativity says: We honor a commitment to seek new approaches to service and care, and to willingly try new approaches with vitality, energy and enthusiasm. This value is exemplified by: seeking new approaches in practice with open-mindedness embracing challenges as an opportunity for resourcefulness welcoming change with...

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14 Apr - Service Spotlight: Aderonke Kareem

This month, we're recognizing Supported Living DSP, Aderonke Kareem! We were proud to nominate Aderonke for a scholarship from INARF in December, and while she didn't win the prize, we want to recognize her hard work and commitment! Before becoming a DSP, Aderonke Kareem was working as a CNA in a nursing home. When she came to New Hope, she was seeking a position that would offer more one-on-one care in a longer-term setting. Along with her full-time job at New Hope, she is also a single mom and a full-time student studying to be an Early Childhood Education teacher. Today, after...

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07 Apr - New Hope Receives COVID-19 Relief Grant

New Hope of Indiana is grateful to announce that it has been chosen to receive a $200,000 unrestricted grant from the Central Indiana COVID-19 Community Economic Relief Fund (C-CERF). The grant is one of $4.55 million in grants made to 32 community organizations in Central Indiana during the second round of funding to nonprofits. The fund has now distributed more than $11.8 million to 74 organizations in Central Indiana to date. Like most businesses and nonprofits, New Hope has incurred unexpected expenses related to the COVID-19 pandemic including additional costs for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), technology costs to make certain services...

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31 Mar - Zeller, Speak!

Greetings Friends, I hope you are all well! So much has changed in the last month. I am having to follow the shelter in place guidance, and I admit I am getting a little stir crazy! How about you? New Hope of Indiana has been doing everything we know to do to keep people healthy and happy. I even sent out a picture (of myself, of course) saying hi to everyone. Our recreation and music therapists and others are sending out activity ideas that can be done in the home. Everyone here is operating out of love for those we serve. Me? I look...

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30 Mar - Lynn Feldman Receives 2020 INARF Pinnacle Award

After her four decades of service at New Hope of Indiana, Lynn Feldman has been enjoying retirement since early December. We thought it only fitting that she end her career with a very special honor - or two. In December, New Hope proudly announced a new distinction for outstanding direct support professionals (DSPs) at New Hope named in part after Lynn. Now, INARF, New Hope's trade agency, has named Lynn as the recipient of the 2020 Pinnacle Award. This award is given to an outstanding professional level staff member in the human service industry who has demonstrated a commitment to...

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30 Mar - A Note from Allison: #TeamNewHope

Hello loyal Heartbeat readers, Wow! So much has changed since I last wrote to you. In just one month, New Hope’s entire operation has shifted to accommodate a new focus on the health and safety of those we serve and the people who are directly serving them. While this is always our top priority, our operations have taken a turn to adjust to this new normal. We have suspended Day Services, transitioned therapy services to telehealth delivery and restricted visitors in all New Hope homes to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Our associates are monitoring their own health before every shift...

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27 Mar - Staying Connected

Every month, Bill McCreary looks forward to visiting his father in an assisted living facility. He checks the calendar and knows exactly when he'll get to see his father next. Nearly 30 years ago, New Hope Team Leader Gail Mehrlich started serving Bill and eventually organized these monthly dinners. Today, it is the dedicated staff of Justin Group Home that ensure that Bill gets to see his family each month. But this month, and for the foreseeable future, Bill won't get to visit his dad. Bill is deaf and communicates using limited, basic sign language. Last week he was obviously upset and...

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27 Mar - COVID-19 Response Update

Maija Augenbergs, Quality Assurance Coordinator As New Hope of Indiana continues to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic, we are taking several measures to keep the individuals we serve as well as our associates happy, healthy and safe. New Hope’s COVID-19 working group continues to meet daily to discuss strategies for prevention and preparedness and to maintain communication across various programs. New Hope leaders continue to coordinate with New Hope’s Medical Director, Dr. Daniel Shull, as well as other organizations including INARF, the Indiana State Department of Health, BDDS and others in the disability industry to remain current on quickly developing information, access necessary...

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26 Mar - It’s Time to Pay Those Who Care for People with Disabilities a Living Wage

by Allison Wharry, CEO This National Disabilities Awareness Month, I want to take a moment to advocate for those who assist 40,000 Hoosiers with intellectual and developmental disabilities each and every day and help show the world how truly ABLE they are. I’m talking about Indiana’s Direct Support Professionals (DSPs). More than 20,000 DSPs in Indiana support clients in homes, in the community and at their places of employment. Their work is needed and invaluable. Yet, they are paid a low wage due to insufficient Medicaid reimbursements. Because of this, New Hope of Indiana and other service providers have a difficult time...

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