INDIANAPOLIS–Teams of people walked around downtown Indianapolis Wednesday evening, to find homeless people to tell them how they can find a permanent home. Mayor Joe Hogsett said the plan is to try and end homelessness in the city by 2023.
The teams asked homeless people to fill out paperwork that could start them in the process for having a home, not just going to a shelter. It’s called the “Coordinated Entry System Blitz”.
“Our community has made it a priority to end homelessness in our city, for we know that providing supportive housing is better for individuals in need, better for our downtown neighbors and businesses, and the fiscally responsible option for taxpayers,” said Hogsett.
“Together, we are working to create a pipeline to housing and long-term stability, and today, we help our most vulnerable residents take the first step toward ending their homelessness.”
The mayor’s office said they’ve already created an additional 400 homes since Hogsett issued that challenge in his State of the City address in 2017. But, on any given night 1,300 people are homeless in Indy. So, the challenge now is to make more housing available.
The “Blitz” is not meant to provide housing, but to offer a simplified application process.
“Our goal is to end what we call chronic homelessness, the people that have been on the street for a long time, and then to make sure no one died on our streets,” said Kay Wiles, who is helping lead the program.
Deputy Mayor for Community Outreach Jeff Bennett said making sure homeless people are able to get into the system is a priority.
“Do they have resources? Maybe they’re on Social Security Disability or have some other monetary income. What are the barriers they are facing to get housing,” he discussed with RTV6.
Victoria Thompson Hill was homeless, but is no longer. She said she was not aware the city could help her when she was homeless.
“They don’t have phones where they can contact and see if housing is available. And so, something needs to be done about it,” she said.
“We will not stop. We will not rest, until each and every neighbor, not just downtown Indianapolis, but throughout our community, has a permanent place to call home,” said Hogsett.
PHOTO: Chris Davis/Emmis