New Hope for Families Receives Grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to Combat Child Homelessness in Southern Indiana

Staff report

Bloomington, Indiana – October 26, 2023

New Hope for Families, a nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting families in crisis, has recently secured a substantial grant of $652,757 from Lilly Endowment Inc. The grant aims to address the issue of child homelessness in southern Indiana by reducing the duration, frequency, and overall impact of homelessness episodes for school-age children.

Lilly Endowment Inc. is funding this project as part of its “Strengthening Youth Programs in Indiana” initiative. The broader objective of this initiative is to support youth-serving organizations throughout Indiana, helping them enhance their ability to promote the academic, physical, and social well-being of young people aged five through 18.

The project, aptly named “New Hope for Hoosier Youth: Ongoing Support for Youth Impacted by Homelessness in Southern Indiana,” has several key goals:

  1. Shorten the Duration of Homelessness: The program intends to reduce the length of homelessness episodes for youth in the region.
  2. Prevent Recurrences of Family Homelessness: By providing support and resources, New Hope for Families aims to prevent families from experiencing homelessness repeatedly.
  3. Strengthen Programs for Long-Term Family Stability: The project will bolster existing programs to ensure families achieve lasting stability after transitioning from homelessness to secure housing.

Emily Pike, the Executive Director of New Hope for Families, emphasized the long-lasting impact of homelessness, particularly on children. “Even brief episodes of homelessness can increase a child’s risk of social, emotional, behavioral, and medical problems, and can limit their ability to succeed in school,” Pike stated. She went on to stress the importance of minimizing these negative impacts by ensuring that homelessness episodes are as short as possible and, ideally, never repeated.

Pike expressed optimism about the grant’s potential impact on the children they serve, saying, “These funds will be a game changer for the children we serve. The additional case management will help our families move more quickly through homelessness and into stability and a lease in their own name that they can afford. This partnership will also enable our staff to follow and support our clients, including especially all children, to ensure that they remain safely housed throughout the remainder of their childhood.”

Sherry Dunbar-Kruzan, President of New Hope’s Board of Directors, highlighted the importance of housing stability for homeless youth. “It is impossible to separate the health and well-being of homeless youth from the housing stability of their families,” she emphasized, “To minimize the adverse effects on these vulnerable children, we want to ensure their homelessness is brief and non-repeating.”

Mary Morgan, Director of Heading Home of South Central Indiana, praised New Hope for Families’ track record and its potential to meet the critical need for support for homeless youth in the region. Morgan stated, “They have proven their ability to help families in a lasting way. This investment will strengthen their ability to serve youth in our community who are impacted by homelessness.”

This grant comes as part of a larger initiative in which New Hope for Families is one of 187 organizations receiving grants under the “Strengthening Youth Programs in Indiana” initiative, spearheaded by Lilly Endowment Inc.

Ted Maple, Vice President for Education at Lilly Endowment, underscored the essential role that youth-serving organizations play in Indiana. He acknowledged the challenges these organizations have faced in recent years and expressed the Endowment’s support for their efforts to strengthen their programs and serve youth more effectively.

The “Strengthening Youth Programs in Indiana” initiative was launched by Lilly Endowment Inc. in 2022, initially offering grants to national youth-serving organizations with Indiana affiliates or chapters to enhance their work.

Lilly Endowment Inc. is a private foundation with a commitment to various fields, including religion. It was founded in 1937 by J.K. Lilly Sr. and his sons, Eli and J.K. Jr., through gifts of stock in Eli Lilly and Company, a pharmaceutical business. The Endowment, while funding programs throughout the United States, maintains a special dedication to its hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana.

New Hope for Families, also known as New Hope Family Shelter, is a pivotal community leader in providing social services to families in crisis. It offers emergency shelter and high-quality childcare and early learning programs for parents and children in Monroe County. In 2022, New Hope expanded its facilities to accommodate more families and children in need.

For more information about New Hope for Families and its programs, please visit

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