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IHA offers grants for young adults leaving foster care

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Every year, about 400 young adults age out of the foster care system in Indiana, putting some in a vulnerable situation without secure housing.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded the Indianapolis Housing Agency about $14,000 to give out in the form of housing vouchers to young adults ages 18-24 who have aged out of the foster care system.

IHA has a maximum allotment of 25 participants each year, and vouchers will offer financial help for up to 36 months for each participant. The agency had awarded vouchers to three people as of Aug. 27.

Recipients have to agree to live in Marion County in order to get a voucher from IHA.

Those who are between 18 and 24 need to reconnect with the case manager or agency they had when they left the foster care system to get started. A participant’s income can’t be more than 50% of the median income for Marion County in order to be eligible.

For those who age out of the foster care system and don’t immediately have plans for a job or housing, Hall said the options range from living on the streets and shelters to getting temporary living arrangements with friends or family. That means it can be difficult to track down people who are eligible.

“If I’m one of those youth, they find me today, but they may not find me tomorrow or next week because I have a transient nature now,” he said.

Hall said HUD has committed to funding for three to five years. Participants will also have access to services to help maintain housing beyond the program.

Contact staff writer Tyler Fenwick at 317-762-7853. Follow him on Twitter @Ty_Fenwick.

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