Better Know Testimonies

Testimonies from last year, the 10th Anniversary of Destination: Home


“Over 10 years ago, agencies and local government offices worked collaboratively to develop a plan to address the needs of the homeless, placing community and client needs above those of our agencies. We felt if we were successful, we should work ourselves out of a job.
Luzada Hayes took the lead and developed Destination Home. Her leadership brought community leaders to the table to address the needs of the homeless and assist in the development of policies and programs to help end homelessness in our community.”
Mary Hamilton Jenkins

“The lesson from the 50-year War on Poverty is that, while many mini-battles were won helping one individual at a time, to win the war takes a whole community working as a system. Similarly, ending homelessness requires an organized whole community with a plan. Destination: Home is our community’s plan to end homelessness.”
Gayl Killough, City of Evansville, Department of Metropolitan Development

“The most important part of Destination: Home was getting all the representatives working in different agencies and businesses to come together and realize that homelessness is a challenge that we are all responsible to face and work to improve.”
Lottie L. Cook
Superintendent, Evansville Psychiatric Children’s Center, Indiana Family & Social Services Administration

“I consider it an honor to been asked to play a small role in the ongoing effort to end homelessness by serving as a member of the Task Force that helped to develop Destination: Home. I would consider it to be the greatest honor of all to serve on the Task Force that will someday face the challenge of completely redefining Aurora’s mission once homelessness is eliminated in our community. If the past 10 years under this plan have shown us anything, they have shown us that the dream is not impossible.”
Doug Goeppner; ADA Coordinator, USI, & Chairperson, Indiana Protection and Advocacy Services Commission 21

“It is fitting that we celebrate the 10th anniversary as we have launched medical respite for the homeless of Evansville. One of the original goals of the team was to provide a place for homeless patients discharged from medical facilities to convalesce. By working together as a community with existing shelter resources, universities, hospitals, behavioral health entities and churches, this goal is within reach.
Sally Finley BSN RN CCM, CDI Coordinator
Deaconess Hospital

“I will NEVER forget the exhilaration of working on the ten year plan to end homelessness. I no longer believe that problems like poverty and homeless are inevitable. I was left profoundly convinced that these complex, chronic problems can be solved if they are broken down into their component parts. I saw for myself that when a group of people commit to a cause greater than themselves and allow their differences to be a source of creativity, miracles happen.”
Peggy Bazaldua

“There is a proverb that says it takes a village to raise a child. We also knew that it would take the private, public and non-profit sectors working together to keep those children and their parents out of homelessness and into their own homes. Vision 1505 is a model of that cooperation and pattern for the future.”
“Getting someone into housing is sometimes easier than keeping them housed. We knew that would be a significant issue for the people we serve. The Outreach Teams that Aurora has developed exemplify the pragmatic support that was needed as individuals and families transitioned from homelessness to housing.”
Paulette Moore
Former Task Force Member

“I served on the Discharge Planning Committee, trying to get agencies to develop a plan for NOT releasing people back into homelessness, such as hospitals, jails and even homeless shelters. The most beneficial development was hiring a staff person to continue focusing on that aspect and make every effort to ensure that all resources were exhausted before someone was released without knowing where they were going to be spending their nights.
Covering the cost of hiring a full time person to keep that part of the project moving forward was a major accomplishment.”
Tom P. Horstman, UI Coordinator – WorkOne Southwest – Evansville

“Thanks to Destination: Home, people in our community came together to address youth homelessness. And in 2008, our efforts were instrumental in passing legislation that extended foster care to age 21 and provided additional services for homeless youth.”
Patty Avery

“It was tremendously rewarding to be involved in the creation of Destination: Home and contribute to its many successes over the first 10 years. I have been so impressed with the level of commitment and collaboration by the people and organizations involved in this effort, and the positive impact they have made on the lives of the homeless in our community.”
Jonathan Weinzapfel

“Homelessness is a community issue that necessitates community solutions. There is not one organization or agency that has the resources necessary to prevent or end homelessness by itself. Destination: Home provides the vehicle to bring the various facets of the community – organizations, agencies, businesses, government and funders – to the table to maximize the resources for a collective impact to prevent or end homelessness in the Evansville area.”
Sharon Taylor, Director of Operations, Evansville Christian Life Center

“Our community is thankful for those who served on the Destination: Home Task Force, staffed Commission committees, and funded, led and implemented Destination: Home initiatives.
We are grateful for your compassion for the homeless and passion for making a real difference in their lives. Everyone who helped move Destination: Home forward is to be commended.”
Lloyd Winnecke
Mayor, City of Evansville