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City of Indianapolis investing nearly $8 million into housing for the homeless

According to the Horizon House, an organization that provides service to people experiencing homelessness, there are around 1,800 people that aren't housed.
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Posted at 7:25 PM, Nov 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-16 19:25:05-05

INDIANAPOLIS — According to the Horizon House, an organization that provides service to people experiencing homelessness, there are around 1,800 people that aren't housed. Earlier this month, the city of Indianapolis committed $7.8 million to building over 100 permanent supportive housing units.

"These 100 units are going to be fantastic,” Leslie Kelly, the Program Director of Horizon House, said. “But we really need to keep the focus on the fact that we need many more.”

One of the four new developments will be right next to Horizon House’s Day Center. It will allow them to continue providing wrap around services to people who are homeless and selected to live in the 36-unit development.

"It's permanent, supportive housing, meaning that people can keep that housing for as long as they need it with a rental subsidy and they can also stay engaged in intensive support services for as long as they need those services. That's key to keeping people housed," Kelly said.

Horizon House says they have seen a 15% increase in people using their services over the last year. The city says this investment is just one way they are working to house as many people as possible, especially as the demographics of those who are homeless changes.

"As we kind of look forward to developing a pipeline, being able to build a little bit larger units to be able to serve families is going to be really important,” Jeff Bennett, the Deputy Mayor of Community Development for Indianapolis, said.

The city says it is looking at new ways to house people in the future.

"The city could partner with an apartment owner, developer or landlord and say if you have 50 units, we will lease all 50 of those units from you as the city," Bennett said.

The city could then put people experiencing homelessness in those rented units, but that is just a concept at this point. As for the units the city is building, those who work with the homeless say it's just one step towards the bigger issue.

"There are over 500 households right now that need this,” Kelly said. “If we have a hundred units coming online right now or in the near future, that is still nowhere near enough. “

These new units should be ready by the end of next year or the spring of 2024. Below is where the units will be located as well as what population of homeless people the sites will cater to.

Compass on Washington – 36 Units 

Located next to the Horizon House Day Center on E. Washington St., Compass on Washington will add 36 one-bedroom units of supportive housing. This partnership with Horizon House, Englewood CDC and Gratus Development received $3.5 million in CDBG-CV and $400,000 from the Housing Trust Fund from DMD. Compass on Washington expects to open in 2024.

Hanna Commons – 50 Units

In partnership with the South Indy Quality of Life Plan, UP Development LLC, Adult & Child, and Southeast Neighborhood Development Corporation, Hanna Commons aims to address homelessness through permanent, multi-family housing. DMD has awarded this project with $1.4 million composed of $1,000,000 in HOME and $400,000 in Housing Trust Fund.

Providence Place – 8 units 

Comprised of one- and two-bedroom units at 4935 E. 21st St., Providence Place will provide permanent supportive housing for individuals exiting homelessness. DMD supported this project led by Englewood CDC, Living Word Baptist Church and A Place Empowering People with $551,062 in HOME funds.

St. Lucas Lofts – 10 Units 

St. Lucas Lofts will host 10 units of integrated supportive housing for individuals who are recovering from homelessness in partnership with Englewood CDC, Outreach Indiana and Adult & Child Services. Supported with $2,000,000 in Community Development Block Grant funds from DMD, St. Lucas Lofts is expected to open in the first quarter of 2024.