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Sunday, October 17, 2021

Partnership helps protects Hoosiers from eviction

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A three-day event starting Sept. 20 will help east side residents fill out rental assistance paperwork now that the state eviction moratorium has ended.

Through a partnership between Indiana Black Expo, Metropolitan School District of Warren Township School, Eskenazi Health and the Community Alliance of the Far East Side, those at risk of being evicted can get the help they need filling out paperwork at the Moorhead Community Resource Center, 8400 E. 10th St.

“It’s important that families take advantage of these critical resources,” Tanya Bell McKinzie, president of Indiana Black Expo said during a press conference Sept. 17.

From Sept. 20 to Sept. 23, residents can bring identification, income verification and a copy of their lease to start the assistance process. Kendra Nowell, interim CEO of the Community Alliance of the Far East Side, said the organization can process the paperwork onsite and there could be a 24- to- 48-hour turnaround.

At the workshops, residents can also fill out a survey from the Warren Township Board of Trustees to assess utility needs within the township. If a resident is in need of assistance for utilities such as water and electricity, the board will work with them to find resources to maintain those utilities in their homes.

James Taylor, director of Student and Social Services for Warren Township, said the township is aware of at least 500 students in the township whose families struggle with homelessness. The survey, he said, will allow the school to get a better understanding of which families are in need and how the school can assist them.

Housing instability can force students to transfer schools. Taylor said this can cause disruptions not only in a child’s education, but in their overall health, as well.

“We’re all a product of our environments,” Taylor said in an interview. “When there’s a disruption in your education, there’s a disruption in your life. That can come out as violence and have bad health outcomes.”

Workshops will be 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 20 and Sept. 22, noon to 6 p.m. Sept. 21. Computers will be available at Moorhead Community Resource Center. There will be private rooms for residents to work through paperwork.

“Our biggest priority is safety and confidentiality,” Taylor said.

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

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