Back in August 2016, at the corner of East 23rd Street and North Arsenal Avenue, rests the family home of Lewis Morris, a veteran of the Marines. Morris had been homeless for some time when City Contractor, Tony Roberts, wandered over to the home one morning where he found Morris asleep in the backyard.
Even though the house was rundown and dilapidated, Morris found himself returning to his childhood downtown home where he would sleep in the backyard. He simply wanted to be close to the only place that has ever felt like home. After having a conversation with Morris and realizing Morris' last name matched the home's previous owner, Roberts wanted to do something to help him out.
Veterans make up roughly 11 percent of the homeless population, and when given the chance to help make a difference to bring that number down, Rebuilding Together partnered with 5/3rd Bank and did just that. They've made it a goal to help finish a veteran's home every year.
In a combined effort between the city, local assistance programs and generous individuals, the Morris family home is now back in his own hands. The effort went beyond securing ownership to making the house habitable. That’s where we, along with Rebuilding Together, Fifth Third Bank and various other organizations and volunteers, came into the picture.
Through donations from individuals and organizations across the Indianapolis area, the house received new flooring, plumbing, paint, carpentry, electrical, roofing, siding and lawn improvements. And just like that, through the generosity of countless individuals, Lewis Morris is back home.
Questions? Email Rebuilding Together Indianapolis’ Executive Director, Vicki Perkins: firstname.lastname@example.org