HealthNet’s Homeless Initiative Program receives 450 winter coats through Pacers coat drive


In February, the Pacers, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Republic Waste Services teamed up with Pacers point guard Jamaal Tinsley for the third annual Pacers Coat Drive benefiting the HealthNet Homeless Initiative Program.

Fans were encouraged to donate a new or gently-used coat at two Indianapolis-area Dick’s Sporting Goods locations in Plainfield and Carmel.  In return, participants received one Pacers game ticket per coat donated, with a maximum of two tickets per person, to the Pacers’ game against the Boston Celtics on Feb. 12.  Many also had the opportunity to meet Tinsley and get his autograph.

Some 450 coats were donated for those in need.

“The timing is perfect for the needs of our clients,” said Sharon Stark, director of HealthNet’s Homeless Initiative Program. “With the recent sub-zero temperatures, the coats have been very much appreciated by those we serve.”

For nearly 20 years, HealthNet’s Homeless Initiative Program has helped homeless persons in Marion County reach a level of independence consistent with their goals and capabilities for health and well-being. The program serves more than 3,200 people each year with housing, health care, street outreach, case management and employment services.

“We are grateful to Mr. Tinsley, the Pacers organization, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Republic Waste Services for all their efforts on behalf of the homeless,” said Booker Thomas, HealthNet president/CEO.  “The support of the community has been overwhelming.”

For the past 40 years, HealthNet has been a mainstay in the Indianapolis community. Through its network of five community-based health centers, one OB/GYN and pediatrics care center, and six school-based clinics, HealthNet annually serves over 40,000 individuals and families. Many of them are uninsured or underinsured and live below the federal poverty level.

HealthNet services include: primary and preventive health care; OB/GYN support and coaching for expectant mothers; Healthy Families and Better Indy Babies; dental services; Homeless Initiative Program; pharmacy, counseling, outreach and support service programs.

HealthNet’s health centers include Barrington Health Center, Care Center at the Tower, Martindale-Brightwood Health & Dental Center, People’s Health & Dental Center, Southeast Health & Dental Center, Southwest Health Center, and Southwest OB/GYN Annex.