Celebrating 20 Years of Joy’s House

January 15, 2019


A Note from Tina:

Joy’s House turns twenty this year! Wow. When I was a child, someone seemed super old when they turned twenty.  They weren’t a kid anymore and they had new responsibilities in life.  They had most definitely done some things by the time they were twenty and they were looking at their future with eyes wide open and a new passion.  As an organization, we’re not that different from other twenty-year olds.

We are no longer a young organization:
In the beginning of Joy’s House, we had some of the best grassroots events.  We hosted bowling and cornhole tournaments, reverse raffles and all kinds of dinners. Many of the people who helped start Joy’s House were barely thirty and while the majority cared about our mission, some just knew that we could throw a good party! Words like “Mr.” and “Miss” came into our vocabulary as we referred to our clients, who we began calling “Guests” because they were guests at our house…at Joy’s House. We were excellent at pulling together staff and volunteers with a range of talents. We were a Mom & Pop organization and it helped to shape who we have become culturally. I sure hope we never lose that sweet homelike and approachable feeling. It’s a huge part of what makes us Joy’s House.  Now that I think about it – we are still all of these things; we’re just twenty years older.

We have new responsibilities:
Over ten years ago, we expanded our Broad Ripple location. What started as a loosely modified 3,000 square foot facility became a very intentional 12,000 square foot house. Years later, we absorbed another adult day center and just like that, we had a Joy’s House at UIndy location. We created our Caregiver Support Services knowing that family caregiving was on the rise and that someone needed to create educational and support programs so that the 1 in 3 of us who is currently a caregiver can continue to love and lead our family as we face life-altering diagnoses.

We have done some things:
Thousands of Guests have come to spend their days with us at Joy’s House over the last twenty years. Some of them come for a few months and some of them spend years, sometimes decades, with us. They all become family to us. And because of our passion for our Guests, innovative services for family caregivers and intentional design of the houses, we have been recognized by others. Just in case you missed it, we were voted as the Most Outstanding Adult Day Center in the nation just a few years ago.

We are looking at the future:
There is a lot of work to be done in relation to family caregivers. Sadly, there isn’t enough support set up in our nation, our state or even in our greater Indianapolis community to care for all of the adults who can benefit from adult day services. And so we share with you that we are committed to a third location in Hamilton County, to help bring adult day and caregiver support services to even more families as we walk alongside them on their caregiving journey.

When I was lucky enough to be the seed for this organization twenty years ago, I didn’t realize how blessed we would all be as a result. We get to come to Joy’s House every day, knowing that what we are doing is changing lives. We empower the caregivers. We keep families together. We love on people when they have grown old or have been diagnosed with things called Alzheimer’s disease or multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease or a stroke, Down syndrome, epilepsy, traumatic brain injury, FTD and so many more.

But more importantly, we get to meet people where they are, while appreciating who they have always been, because every single one of us lands at Joy’s House with not only a lifetime behind us, but one in front of us as well. We get to enrich their lives and in return, they enrich ours.

Before I let you go on, please allow me to say thank you to you. Truly, thank you. We are one of thousands of great causes in the state of Indiana alone. We are honored that you care about our community and about our mission at Joy’s House.

I should also tell you that every month in this calendar brings a new focus – new people and areas to celebrate. It is a way for us to highlight, appreciate and CELEBRATE those of you who started Joy’s House, who have helped us along the way and those who will take us to places we haven’t yet imagined. You are what makes Joy’s House so great.

Thank you for being you and for caring about us ~

Tina McIntosh
President and Founder