Abbie Hunt Bryce Home:
A Bold "Home Care" Solution for those without Homes
On June 17, 2004, Visiting Nurse Service, Inc., of Indianapolis opened the doors of the Abbie Hunt Bryce Home, a residence for those who are terminally ill and have very limited resources or are homeless. Named in honor of VNS' founder, the Bryce Home will provide a safe shelter and loving atmosphere for residents in the final chapter of their lives.
Four years ago, the VNS began taking hospice referrals for homeless patients living in abandoned cars, beneath bridges, and on the streets of Indianapolis. Unable to provide adequate and effective hospice care to these patients, the staff of Visiting Nurse Service, under the direction of visionary CEO, John Pipas, began researching the feasibility of constructing what has become the Abbie Hunt Bryce Home.
The Bryce Home is not a traditional hospice, nursing home, or medical facility. It is a home that offers a group of support staff and volunteers available 24-hours a day to provide meal preparation, house cleaning, companionship, recreational activities, and other non-medical assistance as necessary, to the residents. "[The volunteers and staff] would almost be replacing the family [for the residents], because a lot of these people may not have one," stated Renee Wills, Volunteer Coordinator for VNS.
Accepting its first resident on Friday, July 2nd, the home will require 40-50 volunteers per week and 3 full-time staff members to operate. The Bryce Home, conveniently located on 6 acres of land directly behind the VNS Central office, is comprised of three townhouse units; each complete with four bedrooms, two and one-half baths, a kitchen, living room and dining room space. Residence Administrator Margo Martin anticipates the Home will offer shelter to 50-60 residents per year.
Construction of the Bryce Home is now complete, and a campaign to raise $5 million for an endowment fund is underway. The United Way of Central Indiana awarded $895,000 to the VNS to aid in construction fees, while private contributions and foundation grants continue supporting the effort. Annual operating costs are expected to be $300,000. In keeping with the VNS' mission, residents will not be charged for their housing or related costs.
To learn more about the Bryce Home or to make a donation contact Visiting Nurse Service at 317-722-8200 and ask for Margo Martin, Residence Administrator.
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