INDIANAPOLIS — Time is running out for an Indianapolis facility that provides a safe and nurturing space for those who can't take care of themselves.
A sudden funding shortage has put the future of Joy's House Adult Day and Caregiving Center in jeopardy.
For the past two decades, Joy's House has been a home away from home for folks who need a little special attention. But now, due to financial issues, the doors that have served thousands of people over the years could soon be closed for good.
"There's something really special about this industry, about working with older adults and appreciating them for who they are," Tina McIntosh, Joy's House founder, said.
For 20 years, McIntosh and her staff at Joy's House in Broad Ripple have spent every weekday caring for adults whoa re no longer able to stay at home alone safely due to aging or a variety of health issues. It's a comfortable place where Thursday, 40 adults were taken care of while their families were at work or school.
"For the guests, sometimes we are the only reason that they get up, get out of bed, put themselves together and out into the world," McIntosh said.
The adult day and caregiver service offer it's guests an active day to exercise their minds and muscles. But that care comes at a cost, and that price tag is getting high with the latest decrease in donations and new cuts to Medicaid.
"And in anticipation of that, and the changing funding climate, we're in trouble," McIntosh said.
Without an increase in funding, the non-profit operation could be closed by the end of the next year. And while the future doesn't look so bright right now, McIntosh and the staff at Joy's House are not giving up.
They are fighting and fundraising and looking for any opportunity to continue to serve the people who need them most.
"Some of these people come every day," McIntosh said. "Miss Julie is a great example; she's been coming for 11 years. She comes four days a week. If you do the math its something like 2300 days of service, you could look at her as a client, we look at her as a guest in our home, and she's family."
AARP ranks Indiana last in the country when it comes to caring for older adults, people with physical disabilities, and family caregivers.
Indiana ranks last because of Indiana's low level of affordability and access to long-term health care services like Joy's House.
Donations can be made online at joyshouse.org, via phone at 317-254-0828 or by mail to Joy’s House, 2028 East Broad Ripple Avenue, Indianapolis, IN 46220.
To start a fundraiser for Joy’s House, use the Facebook Create Fundraiser button at Facebook.com/joyshouse; contact Tina McIntosh via phone 317-254-0828 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for an emergency campaign electronic tool kit.