Start the Shoe Year off right by donating your gently worn used and new shoes. (Please no smelly, dirty or torn shoes accepted).

Drop off locations are:

  • First Financial Bank- Franklin

      1073 W. Jefferson St

  • First Financial Bank- Madison Ave/Greenwood

       8925 Madison Ave

  • Home Bank- Greenwood

1472 S. State Rd. 135

  • Home Bank- Martinsville

59 W. Washington St.

  • Horizon Bank- Franklin

420 N. Morton St.

  • Horizon Bank- Greenwood- South

942 US 31

  • Horizon Bank- Greenwood- West

151 Marlin Dr.

  • Youth Connections office


Shoe Drive Flyer

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Host Homes Needed



Host group lacking homes: Organization needs temporary housing for children in need

Earlier this year, an organization that gives children facing a crisis a temporary home issued a call for help from Johnson County families.

At the time, only seven families or residents were willing to temporarily take in a child in need — for as little as one night or up to three weeks.

The situation has gotten worse. As of this fall, Youth Connections can turn to just two households across the county to help kids. The need for more families to consider helping and giving it a try has become critical, said Dawn Laplante, the host home coordinator for Youth Connections, a local nonprofit organization that provides services such as custody evaluations, supervised visitations and counseling to families in transition.

Part of the agency’s work is to find a place for kids to go for a few nights if their family has faced an emergency, or if a situation arises that doesn’t merit a placement through Department of Child Services but the child still needs to be removed temporarily. Once, a runaway was located and needed a place to go. Other times, a dispute with parents may call for a cooling-off period.

Without a network of Johnson County residents to call on for help, Youth Connections has to turn to other organizations to take in the children. If they can’t, Child Protective Services may need to be called.

Children come to Youth Connections for a place to stay by asking for help at one of the Safe Place sites across the county or through referrals from a local school. A goal of the program is to intervene in the lives of children before the situation worsens and the Department of Child Services must get involved, Laplante said.

“These are the kids that families think of as the worst possible teenager that you can have,” Laplante said. “That’s not these kids. These are kids who just need a little love.”

Families are given guidance during the process from Youth Connections, and are asked to mentor, but not counsel, the child. The placement is not part of the foster parent program and is for one to 21 days.

“You can make a major impact on a child’s life by just listening and providing some guidance, some love, some structure,” Laplante said.

Residents open their homes for free, but get to help a child reset and continue achieving goals, she said. Households provide shelter and food, stability, structure and listen to the children they take in.

“The best reason is you are giving back to the community, and you are helping a child in need,” Laplante said. “These aren’t the kids who don’t want help. These are kids who need help, and they want help, and they ask for help.”

At a glance

Host homes needed

Youth Connections is looking for volunteers to be host homes in Johnson and Morgan counties. Host homes are asked to open up their home to a youth in need for up to 21 days.

Participants must pass a background check which includes fingerprints, sexual offender registry and driving record. A home inspection is also required.

Information: contact Dawn Laplante at 317-738-3273 ext. 104 or

Informational session

Families interested in becoming a host home can attend an informational session.

When: 6:30 to 8 p.m. Nov. 28

Where: Franklin branch of the Johnson County Public Library, 401 State St.  

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New Safe Place Site

All Nineveh- Hensley- Jackson Schools are now Safe Place sites.  Thank you helping our youth in Johnson and Morgan Counties.


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Youth Connections named Patti the 2017 Youth Worker of the Year at the Youth Connections 9th annual Breakfast of Champions.


Ostler is the Family Service Coordinator at the Martinsville School District and has been with the corporation for 21 years.  She was complimented on her positive energy, dedication and huge asset to the students and the school corporation.


Established in 1976, Youth Connections Breakfast of Champions is the agency’s largest fundraiser.   Over 150 business leaders and community members attended the event.  Bob Lamey, Voice of the Indianapolis Colts was the keynote speaker.


Youth Connection programs include Safe place, Host Homes, Children’s Visitation Center, Custody Evaluations, Families in Transition, Jumpstart /STEM mentoring program.  A speaker’s bureau and community education on human trafficking is also offered.


Youth Connections, (a 501(c) 3 non-profit agency) serves at-risk youth in Johnson and Morgan Counties through crisis intervention, community education and mentoring to foster positive relationships and self-worth.  The organization also provides free summer camps in both Morgan and Johnson Counties.


For more information about the programs provided by Youth Connections, call 317-738-3273.


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Host Homes Needed

Check out our latest article  in the Daily Journal!  Call Dawn Laplante at 317-738-3273 ext. 104  if you are interested in hearing more information about becoming a Host Home Family!

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Human Trafficking

What is the second largest criminal industry in the world after drug dealing?  What criminal industry has grossed over 32 BILLION dollars? What industry makes more money than McDonald’s? The fastest growing criminal industry in the United States…Human Trafficking!

What is Human Trafficking?  The use of force, threat of force, fraud or coercion to compel a person into any form of work or service against their will. According to Indiana Law IC 35-42-3.5 Human Trafficking is a person who, by force, threat of force, or fraud engages another person in: forced labor; involuntary servitude; marriage; prostitution and participation in sexual conduct. How does a trafficker identify their victim?  Believe it or not, employers, gangs, drug suppliers, friends, and even some parents are typically the ones who introduce a youth into human trafficking. Social media and peer pressure play a huge part in human trafficking as well.

Human traffickers manipulate their victims. Child victims of human trafficking face significant emotional problems. As they are physically and sexually abused, they develop distinctive medical and psychological needs that affect their early adulthood.

Trafficked youth come from different backgrounds. Many have low self-esteem, family problems, or have been sexually abused in the past. Some may have drug or alcohol problems and are easy prey to human traffickers. Many of these youth are sold over and over.

In conjunction with our Safe Place program, certified Youth Connections staff members are working closely with the Indiana Youth Services Association (IYSA) and Indiana Trafficking Victim Assistance Program (ITVAP) to provide advocacy, information and referral and community education.

Think you may know someone who is being trafficked?  Call the national hotline at 1-888-373-7888 in Indiana call the Indiana Child abuse Hotline 1-800-800-5556 and use the words human trafficking.

For more information, call Youth Connections 317-738-3273.

Together we can end this horrible epidemic.

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