Heart House Inc. - Aurora, IN

Contact information

6815 US 50
Aurora, IN 47001
: Phone: 812-926-4890
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    2020-06-18 15:07:54
    I've stayed at this shelter twice in my life, and both times were filled with constant examples of authoritarian rules and abuses disguised as "self-help" incentives. Whilst my stint as a child was defined largely by abuses by other children and a complete lack of supervision, I don't recall the experience terribly well due to my age, as such my following examples will focus on instances from my more recent stay at the end of 2016/start of 2017. There were many instances of people being harangued for using any power extenders or multipliers to increase outlet access in the dorm spaces or rooms. As well as any attempt to use various entertainment outlets, to a point I was personally required to leave my phone, family gifted laptop, and other electronics, in their offices during any time that the staff wasn't in office. This requirement is what resulted in my departure. At any time you may be obligated to perform random acts of "voluntary" service, such as bell ringing for the Salvation Army at local stores during the holiday season. Refusal is not an option, and there is no indication that this work is unpaid or undesired on the part of the people standing at the store, giving a false impression as to the pretenses for being there. Whilst there is good reason to perform these acts, the obligation makes it completely involuntary and turns it into a form of unpaid labor as opposed to a voluntary service for a good cause. I genuinely believe it insults both the people who do it out of kindness, and the people being forced to do something for a good cause, without choice in the matter. Similar to the above, there were "program meetings" that were mandatory to attend unless you had work that prevented it. These meetings were used as the justification for the charges each person is met with, though I'll cover that more in a moment. These meetings were in the very early morning, required for all people regardless of if they worked night shift or not, and effectively amounted to someone coming in for 30 minutes to tell grown adults about the food chart, or other grade-school level information, before leaving. As mentioned this establishment attempts to charge you what is effectively rent, meanwhile it also charges for any use of their services for transportation, encouraging you to use the local Catch-a-Ride service, or find other means to get to/from. The charges are exorbitant in attempt to force tenants into this, however it results in many cases in the place becoming a trap, with all debts either gone unpaid, or the person being stuck until removed, or saved from the outside. If you're unemployed for any length of time, you're expected to turn in 10 applications per day until you find employment, without any care as to the job taken. As a result, there's an incredibly high turnover rate, as square pegs are constantly applying to circular holes just to meet the quota required. One extra thing to note about the Catch-a-Ride service, it's owned by the wife of the owner of the Heart House, giving a very clear incentive, and bias, towards pushing tenants into using this service. I will now list a few personal stories about various tenants, albeit from an outside perspective. A man was kicked out for sleeping in his bed incorrectly. To elaborate, the rules of the Heart House required that you sleep with a sheet between you and your bed, as well as you and your blanket. To sleep with your blanket directly atop you was forbidden. Another man was working at a factory in Harrison with 3 others, including myself. Over a few weeks we had all realized the job wasn't for us, except for him. Due to policy meant to encourage finding one's own way to work, there was a fee for transportation. Originally this fee was roughly 8 dollars each way, to and from work. However, was due to the number of people being transported. Once the other 3 of us were gone, his fee was roughly $70 total to get to/from work total, each day. Once the "rent" was factored in, the total income was effectively nothing. Last but not least a man was kicked out for simply standing up during a morning meeting to stretch his legs, after being woken up in the early morning for said meeting. While I did not witness it, I was informed a woman was personally bailed out of jail after being arrested multiple times, simply to stay there and act as a spy of sorts on the other homeless people simply to relay information to the staff. A woman was also supposedly extorted for her food stamps in return for allowing her to stay, otherwise she would be kicked out for coming into conflict with her over minor things. If you value your family and friends, I implore you, never put them in a position that they must stay at the Heart House. This place is vial, and desperately needs an alternative, that way the people who're homeless in the area might genuinely be treated like human beings, and might be given true support to get back on their feet. As it is, this place is little more than an authoritarian community housing complex which financially abuses it's tenants and its power over them.

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Description: Heart House currently operates a 72 bed shelter and a 12-unit transitional apartment building. Within the bricks and mortar of our home-like environment, we provide a variety of social services to equip our clients with the life and coping skills they will need to re-enter mainstream society. Single men and women and families welcomed.

Do you have items to donate? Contact Heart House Inc. at the phone number provided above to see if they can use any items you may have to donate.

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Do you have items to donate? Contact Heart House Inc. at the phone number provided above to see if they can use any items you may have to donate.

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