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  • Writer's pictureNLIndy Handy Team

Introducing the COVID Recovery Initiative

The COVID Recovery Initiative (CRI) through NeighborLink Indianapolis Foundation, (NeighborLink), has been created for the purpose of increasing our capacity to not only address our current backlog of 50 waiting indoor home repair requests from 2020, but to also prepare for the additional requests that will quickly pour in as soon as we resume accepting indoor requests.

NeighborLink’s mission is simple, to provide home repairs at no cost to homeowners in need who are seniors or individuals with disabilities. Our geography is focused within Marion County and our clients are at or below 150% of the federal poverty line. Our model is based on major volunteer involvement and community support with funding primarily from donations and grants. We work with partners throughout the city and replicate no service provided by others. Since our beginning in 2013, we have provided more than 2,000 home repairs in Marion County.

Our range of services are as simple as installing grab bars in bathrooms to plumbing, electrical, painting, major clean-ups and move up in complexity as we replace furnaces and address health department citations for those who cannot help themselves.

Due to the global pandemic of 2020, our organization chose to pause work inside homes. Our clients are among the most vulnerable to the virus and we did not want to cause undue risk to our clients or our volunteers. For the duration of 2020 we focused on outdoor work, however, the pandemic forced businesses, churches and most groups to cease volunteering for any group activities. NeighborLink stopped accepting new requests for help due to an ever growing backlog of work and the inability to meet that need for the time being.

The COVID-19 vaccination programs currently rolling out will enable us to begin providing indoor services again later this year. Outdoor projects are ongoing, as weather allows. In prior years, our capacity has been managing more than 400 requests annually. We will find it difficult to both address normal service requests and simultaneously work off the backlog of requests from 2020.

In order to most efficiently work down our backlog of indoor requests, we will need to hire local contractors to do the work. This solution will represent approximately a 50% increase in cost per request for work that will be done by paid contractors rather than by NeighborLink volunteers. Our average cost per home using volunteers is $1000. By bringing in contractors, our average cost increases to $1500.

To help us address this backlog of COVID recovery work, we are launching our COVID Recovery Initiative (CRI) and looking for funding partners to help support this effort at $1500 per home. Funding opportunities can be determined as a general amount towards the initiative, an amount specific to a number of homes in Marion County or towards a specific neighborhood.

Interested in helping support the COVID-19 Recovery effort for our homeowners? Consider donating.

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