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Verbatim: State releases homeless count numbers

Statement issued Monday:

The Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA) has released the findings from the Point-in-Time homeless count held on January 29th, 2010. The count takes place annually to accurately gauge the homeless population.

Over 100 agencies across the 14 Continuum of Care (CoC) Regions participated in the count. The sheltered count numbers were compiled by combining data from the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) administered by IHCDA and domestic violence shelter data was inputted through an electronic survey. The unsheltered count was compiled using paper surveys and the data was then entered into the HMIS system.

In region 3, which is comprised of Allen, DeKalb, Steuben, LaGrange, Noble, Whitley, Huntington, Wells, and Adams counties, 585 people experienced homelessness on the night of the 29th. This number included 418 households, 337 single adults, and 155 children in families.

"While the 2010 numbers are a reflection of turbulent economic times, IHCDA and our partners around the state are making discernable strides in serving those most vulnerable in our communities," says IHCDA Executive Director Sherry Seiwert. "Indiana is on the forefront of change; no longer managing homelessness, but rather implementing solutions to end it."

Taking into account recent financial hardships, the number of those at risk to become homeless has increased in size and numbers, and includes many families and individuals who would otherwise never have contact with homeless services. As part of the long-term solution, Indiana received more than $16 million dollars in federal stimulus funding to address the issue.

By identifying an individual's or family's barriers to self-sufficiency and targeting the most appropriate housing solution, Indiana's Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-housing Program (HPRP) can minimize the number of people that enter the homeless delivery system and the duration of time they spend there.

In our region, HPRP funds have thus far assisted over 100 individuals and 57 households. CANI, one of the agencies that are distributing the funds, reported several successful stories. One such story is that of a fifty-two year old man who had no income and had been living in an abandoned house with no running water or utilities. Up until the time that he was referred to CANI, he stated that he had lost all hope. The CANI case management staff helped him apply for the program and assisted him in finding an affordable apartment. He now is living in his own place and is working to secure employment. Another success story is that of a working, single mother who fell behind on rent and was facing eviction. The HPRP funds helped her pay her arrears and a portion of her monthly rent. This program has given her the opportunity to improve her life as she is now enrolling into college for the fall.

Our local region's Continuum of Care continues to strive to prevent and end homelessness through coordination, communication, and collaboration. The Allen County Housing and Homeless Taskforce, which regularly conducts the Point in Time Count, is one of the CoC's subcommittees. If anyone in the community is interested in becoming involved in the Taskforce or another subcommittee, please contact the chair listed below.

For further information or the regional results of the Point-in-Time homeless count please contact Kirk Wheeler at kiwheeler@ihcda.in.gov. For further information on local subcommittees, including the Allen County Housing and Homeless Taskforce, please contact chair, Mollie Cripe @ mcripe@ywcaerew.org

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