Home at Last: IUPUI scientist uses construction to change lives

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — An IUPUI professor is using construction work to make a difference for those battling homelessness or mental health issues.

Home at Last, a company started by IUPUI scientist Patrick Monahan, employs and trains those affected by homelessness, mental health issues or are simply having a tough time, to renovate and refurbish Indy area homes.

Once the homes are renovated, Home at Last then leases those homes for mental health organizations to use for transitional housing, or for low income families to buy.

“I want our company to be known as a great example of social entrepreneurialism,” Monahan said.

Monahan was inspired to start the company after the death of his twin brother. At the time of his death, his brother was homeless and struggling with schizophrenia. Now Monahan says he works to try and prevent similar stories from happening.

“If we can intervene and say look here’s some new skills here are some things to practice, and then it’s a gradual things it’s like painting something. It’s not going to happen overnight, but gradually change can happen,” he said.

Monahan says the general contractors he uses also have their own histories. Now they use that experience to help those they train change their lives.

“If you’re helping somebody else move along, then I don’t think you can ask for a higher calling,” said Kevin Proctor.

While Home at Last does turn a profit, Monahan says being “for profit and for people” aren’t mutually exclusive ideas.

“Home at Last is a social enterprise. So we operate as a for-profit but the social mission comes first,” Monahan said.

Monahan says the company is planning to begin construction on another project later this summer. For more information about Home at Last, click here.

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