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I'd like to thank Kimberly Wize, HUD Indy Field Office Director, and Joe Galvan, HUD Midwest Regional Administrator. And of course HUD secretary Ben Carson, for directing $23.8 million to Indiana, and specifically $1.7 million to agencies in our area serving individuals experiencing homelessness.

I’d also like to acknowledge some of the folks who are here, 

Elby Hilton, Director of Community Services, the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority; 

Emily Duke, Region 10 Chair, Indiana Balance of State Continuum of Care

Dan McNeely, Director of Supportive Housing, Centerstone of Indiana; 

Cindy Burdine, Indiana University Health Bloomington, Inc., 

and Rev. Forrest Gilmore, Executive Director, Shalom Community Center, Inc. 

 

Everybody needs a home.

But we know that Bloomington, like many other communities around the country, is grappling with an affordable housing crisis.

Many people here are rent-burdened, meaning they are spending more than 30% of their income on rent in Bloomington--a substantial number of them significantly more than 50%.  

 

What are we doing to create more affordable housing?

  • Partnering with agencies like SCIHO and Centerstone to build affordable housing (Switchyard Apts, Kinser Flats), especially for those experiencing chronic homelessness and substance use disorder. Kinser Flats is run on Housing First principle that housing must be addressed and provided before we can tackle any other issues an individual is coping with.   
  • Pedcor/B-Line Heights
  • Crawford Apts/Crawford 2
  • Evergreen--for seniors--accepts Medicare
  • RAD conversion of BHA
  • UDO, changes to zoning laws to increase affordable housing
  • Taking advantage of opportunities to direct the development of affordable housing, by purchasing land -- existing hospital site, parcels around Switchyard, etc. -- so that more people at various income levels can live in proximity to work, school, and the lively center of Bloomington--

 

Thanks to our partners

We want to acknowledge the importance of the partner agencies who are serving those experiencing homelessness, some of whom are represented here (and will be the beneficiaries of this much-needed federal funding) -- Shalom, Centerstone, IU Health -- together with so many others--Wheeler Mission, New Leaf, New Life, New Hope for Families, Amethyst House, Middle Way House, Indiana Recovery Alliance, Mother Hubbards Cupboard, the Salvation Army, Goodwill Excel Center, Hoosier Hills Food Bank...

And many of those same organizations, who are helping not only address the immediate problem of caring for and sheltering those who are unhomed, but also addressing the root causes, and ramifications--(substance use disorder, crippling cost of health care, education/economic issues, lack of equity/justice) We know that homelessness is no simple problem, but a systemic one…

 

How our public safety personnel/facilities help

And finally--some of the efforts the City is making in terms of assisting those experiencing homelessness, by connecting them with resources and services --

  • --social worker, DROs, Neighborhood Resource Specialists
  • --Crisis Diversion center (a community collaboration)

These people and these facilities are working to keep day-to-day needs and issues from ramping up into crises. 

 

Census: we are making sure those experiencing homelessness are counted!  Because whether you have a home or do not, everyone counts.  

 

Conclusion:  

Homelessness is a national crisis and a very real local one. Having a home is a priority on the first order. We appreciate HUD’s allocation of funds to serve those experiencing homelessness in Bloomington.


 

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