INDIANAPOLIS — It's home-away-from-home during a very trying situation.
"We'll just really be able to offer more for our guests who are here facing a difficult time and give them some extra support," said Fair Haven founder and executive director Amanda Milner.
Fair Haven, an Indianapolis nonprofit that started in 2008, will open Ada's Place Friday, Sept. 24. It will add more free housing for families staying in Indianapolis while a loved one is in the hospital.
"We can house 12 families per night at this facility," Milner said. "We expect to serve about 500 families annually."
Fair Haven also has 10 fully furnished apartments they will continue to use. The apartments and Ada's Place are both located near the downtown medical center, which includes several Indiana University Health hospitals.
"It's very convenient for us because we have to travel two and a half hours away," said Chesterton resident Latrese Henley.
Henley and her daughter have been staying with Fair Haven for over a month while her husband recovers from a kidney transplant.
"They told us about different hotels and stuff like that that we can check into that gives us half off, but a social worker came in and said, 'Hey, we got this sponsorship or something with Fair Haven,' and she said it's totally free," Henley said. "[She said,] 'You don't have to worry about paying for certain things,' and I was like, 'OK.'"
Henley doesn't know how long she'll stay with Fair Haven but doesn't feel rushed to get out.
"It doesn't make you feel like, oh, I got a certain time, or I'm being rushed out of here — it just makes you feel like you're in a home setting," Henley said.
"These families are facing what is often the most difficult time of their life," Milner said. "[We provide] a place to come to where they can just forget the worries that they're facing and just have an hour or two or an overnight where they just can destress and feel cared for and have a beautiful place that's warm, welcoming and comforting. It really expresses, I think, the Hoosier hospitality of our community just to give back to these families."
Ada's Place was donated to Fair Haven in 2018. Since then, they've raised $2.8 million to renovate the building to get it ready for guests.
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