The Gene B. Glick Company was founded on a young WWII veteran’s desire to help his fellow GIs build homes for their families.
Eugene Glick founded the company in 1947 in Indianapolis, and by the early 1960s, it was the largest single-family home builder in Indiana. Today, it is one of the largest privately-held real estate management and development firms in the U.S.
“Gene Glick began this company to help fellow veterans find housing who had just returned from the war. That’s how the company was started, and it’s still a very important part of what the company is today,” said Glick Philanthropies Community Impact Coordinator Ben Grande. “That’s why we’re making it a strategic goal to get more involved with organizations serving homeless veterans and partnering with them to help end homelessness in Central Indiana.”
Hoosier Veterans Assistance Foundation (HVAF) helps homeless veterans return to self-sufficiency and engages at-risk veterans to prevent them from becoming homeless by providing supportive housing, case management, food, hygiene and clothing as well as other essential services.
“There are about 45,000-50,000 homeless veterans in the U.S., and when these veterans leave the military, they lose a huge support system,” said HVAF Vice President of Advancement Aaron Carmichael. “It’s the support from community partners like Glick that allows us to provide housing and other services to our veterans in need.”
The Glick Family Housing Foundation — dedicated to the acquisition, development and preservation of quality, affordable housing for low-income residents — is piloting a program with HVAF and the city of Indianapolis to house more homeless veterans.
“At this time, there are about 80 homeless veterans in Indianapolis who have the HUD-VASH voucher in hand but can’t find a unit to accept their voucher,” Grande said.
The HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program combines Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) rental assistance for homeless veterans with case management and clinical services provided by the VA. A component of the program awards vouchers to enable homeless veterans to obtain affordable, decent housing in the private market.
“Glick is working with HVAF, the city of Indianapolis, the local VA and other not-for-profits to begin accepting the HUD-VASH voucher and help reduce the homeless veteran population in Indianapolis,” Grande said.
“The partnership with Glick is a match made in heaven,” Carmichael said. “They are experts in the housing and property management industry, and one of our biggest programs is the housing of homeless veterans. To have a partner that is so generous to the community and is willing to step up and serve the homeless veteran population is something we are immensely grateful for.”
In addition to the efforts through the Glick Family Housing Foundation, the Glick Company is also offering support to HVAF through its employee volunteer program, Glick Cares.
Glick Cares invites Glick employees to give their time, energy and talents to serve their communities by offering paid time off to devote to volunteering. Employees can schedule their own volunteer time, but they also have the opportunity to take part in one of the company’s larger quarterly volunteer events.
“The quarterly events are open to employees as well as their families and friends to participate, and the higher involvement allows for a higher impact on the organizations we volunteer with,” said Alex Freeman, a Glick Company marketing specialist and winner of the inaugural Glick Cares Volunteer Award. “It’s a win-win for everyone. Family is our business, so what better way to involve your family and friends in your work than through our volunteer program.”
Glick Cares recently worked at the HVAF headquarters in Indianapolis, sorting donations in the food and hygiene pantries and creating move-in packages for those homeless veterans coming off the street into HVAF housing. Another group sorted donations in the clothing pantry. HVAF allows veterans to come in and use the food and clothing pantries a couple days a week.
“We are being more strategic about making sure our volunteer efforts fall in line with the Glick Company’s values, and we continue to look for organizations and projects that are a good fit for us,” Freeman said. “We’re focused on making the greatest impact we can in the communities where Glick properties are located. We first made contact with HVAF for a quarterly volunteer event, and once we found out more about the organization, it just made sense to partner together on a deeper level.”
That led to the pilot program with the Glick Family Housing Foundation and the acceptance of the HUD-VASH voucher at select Glick Family Housing Foundation properties in Indianapolis.
“Everyone has a personal connection to a veteran,” Freeman said. “Working with HVAF has become a passion project we know Gene Glick would be honored to support, and we want to continue his legacy of helping veterans find quality, affordable housing.”
Glick Philanthropies also provided a $2,500 grant to HVAF as a general donation to support the organization’s operation and services.
“It’s that kind of support we rely on so heavily in order to be the largest nonprofit provider of comprehensive services for veterans in Indiana,” Carmichael said. “And we thank Glick for all they are doing to help us.”