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Indianapolis awarded $9 million for homelessness grant

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The city of Indianapolis received a $9.4 million award from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to help individuals and families experiencing homelessness. Money from the award — Continuum of Care Competition Awards — will go toward various projects, including programming, rapid rehousing for people escaping domestic violence and transitional services for children experiencing homelessness.

“Today’s announcement takes our ability to serve our neighbors experiencing homelessness to the next level,” Mayor Joe Hogsett said during a press conference March 23. “By leveraging these dollars, American Rescue Plan resources and the Indianapolis Community Plan to End Homelessness, we’re accelerating our goal of ending the homelessness crisis. We’re grateful to the Biden Administration, HUD, and Rep. Andre Carson for their commitment to supporting our city as we do this work.”

The city’s Housing First Strategy, which prioritizes shelter before addressing issues that could have led to homelessness, such as domestic violence or health challenges, will be supported by this funding.

“I’m honored to have worked to secure these funds in Washington D.C. for Indianapolis’ Housing First, all-hands-on-deck effort to house those experiencing homelessness,” Carson said. “Getting more Hoosiers into safe, stable homes must be a top priority, and I am confident that these investments will help achieve that for years to come.”

In 2021, the number of Indianapolis residents experiencing homelessness hit a 10-year high according to the Coalition for Homelessness Intervention and Prevention. Volunteers counted 1,928 people experiencing homelessness, an 18% increase from 2020. Black residents are most likely to be homeless, with 54% of the homeless population in Indianapolis last year being African American.

Organizations receiving funding include Indiana Youth Group, Adult & Child, Coalition for Homelessness Intervention & Prevention, Coburn Place, Damien Center and Horizon House. Projects include:

• Domestic violence programming such as rapid rehousing, rental assistance and wraparound services for individuals fleeing a domestic violence situation

• Youth and young adult programming to provide those under 24 experiencing homelessness with rapid rehousing or transitional housing

• Programming for chronically homeless individuals in need of long-term permanent housing

• Expansion of the Homeless Management Information System

• Funding for the Coordinated Entry System organization.

“This funding furthers our community-wide goals of increasing access to safe, supportive and permanent housing for individuals and families experiencing homelessness and enhancing services to increase housing stability,” Chelsea Haring-Cozzi, executive director of the Coalition for Homelessness Intervention & Prevention, said. “We are thrilled with the expansion of funding for housing resources and services for youth and young adult and survivors of domestic violence, and we are eager to see continued investment in solutions that work.”

Contact staff writer Breanna Cooper at 317-762-7848 or BreannaC@indyrecorder.com. Follow her on Twitter @BreannaNCooper.

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