Nov. 8 online pledge drive helps homelessness in Porter County
By James D. Wolf Jr. Post-Tribune correspondent October 28, 2012 9:32PM
The following agencies will benefit from the Porter County GIVE Day are:
Alice’s House Inc.
Dayspring Women’s Center
Gabriel’s Horn Corp.
Habitat for Humanity of Porter County
Harold “Hal” Kelley Respite House Foundation Inc.
Housing Opportunities Inc.
Moraine House Inc.
New Creation Business Advocates
Open Arms Shelter for Women
Opportunity Enterprises Inc.
Porter County Community Foundation Housing Assistance Fund
Porter-Starke Services Inc.
Rebuilding Together — Duneland
Rebuilding Together — Hebron
Rebuilding Together — Valparaiso
The Caring Place
Valparaiso Men’s Overnight Shelter
Updated: November 30, 2012 6:16AM
VALPARAISO — Every month, an average of 200 people are homeless in Porter County.
On Nov. 8, people can help alleviate that with the 17 not-for-profit agencies that work with those struggling to find or keep homes.
The Porter County Foundation is hosting a 24-hour, online event called Porter County GIVE Day at portercountygiveday.org.
More than a website to make donations, the event is like a telethon, with people choosing which of the non-profits they want money to go to, people winning extra money for their chosen charities and a live board that shows how the charities are doing.
The event lasts one day to attract donors with the event’s immediacy, and the telethon-style gives reason to act that day.
“We wanted a unique way to bring attention to this,” said Carol Costakis, the foundation’s community resource director. “It gives a clear call to action.”
According to the foundation’s statistics, half of the homeless are children, who have higher rates of suspension from school and a 20 percent lower graduation rate.
One in five of Porter County’s homeless have been so for more than three months, and one in 10 have been homeless before.
The foundation is part of No Place Like Home, begun by Porter County charities in January with a goal of ending local homelessness within 10 years.
Donation matches will come from a pool of more than $50,000 given by sponsors, and those will be pro rata — if $200,000 is raised total, the match is 25 cents per $1, and if $100,000, the match is 50 cents, Costakis said.
But a donation will be chosen every hour between 12:01 and 7 a.m. to get a dollar-to-dollar match, up to $1,000.
The first organization to receive 25 donations will get an additional $1,000, and the first to get 10 gifts of $100 or more will get an additional $1,000.
Before GIVE Day, people can like the foundation’s Facebook page to enter a drawing for a “golden ticket” for $100 to the not-for-profit of their choice.
People who don’t have a preferred group can click a “can’t decide” button, and the money will go to the “Everybody Wins” to be divided equally at the end. There is also the foundation’s housing fund that gives grants to the groups.
Those who don’t have Internet access can contact the Porter County Community Foundation at 465-0294 for information on where they can drop off donations, Costakis said.