New Hope for Families is our community's response to a need established as a priority at the 2010 Homelessness Summit. New Hope is the only emergency shelter in Monroe County that keeps homeless families together -- a critical aspect of any strategy to address the problems that lead to homelessness.
Emily Pike is a native of Southern Indiana. She graduated from Mitchell High School, earned a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame, and will receive a Master of Public Affairs with a concentration in Nonprofit Management from Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs in December 2013.
Currently a resident of Bloomington, Elaine was raised in relative poverty on the near east side of Indianapolis. As a child Elaine experienced situational homelessness on two occasions. She feels her relatable experiences are an asset to New Hope residents. Elaine believes that cultivating lifelong learners, promoting respect, maintaining dignity, and encouraging independent decision-making skills are key elements to overcoming homelessness. Elaine is outgoing with a positive outlook and a mission of planting seeds of learning wherever she may go.
As an adult I have come to understand that “homelessness” is a label attached to an experience. A label has nothing to do with how an experience feels: good or bad. Life is what we make of it.
I personally feel children who are experiencing “homelessness” want to go through daily life as usual; birthdays happen, friends are made, and meals are eaten. Children can be so resilient. Especially with supportive adults acting as a guide through the experiences life may bring.
As the Executive Director of New Hope I believe it is important to support the whole family through their experience. Each family faces unique challenges on their road to stable housing. It is transition that I believe can be viewed as a life shift that can lead us in a positive or negative direction.
As director I attempt to guide residents to resources available. It is up to the individual to utilize them. By creating transition plans, setting goals, and sometimes stopping along the way to challenge a young resident to a game of Uno, I try to act as a bridge during a transition.
At New Hope we are careful not to use the word “homeless,” it is, after all, an experience. It doesn't have to shape who we have yet to become.