INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Housing Agency is working to combat homelessness in Marion County.
Originally born in Gary, Carly Jackson spent most of her life in the foster care system since she was 6 years old.
“I don’t have anybody supporting me, I don’t have that good of a relationship with my family so I’m basically on my own,” Jackson said.
When she aged out of the system at 18, she said she had nowhere to go.
“I was very unhealthy, I was doing drugs, sleeping in a meth house,” she said. “I ended up sleeping on the porch of the house.”
Jackson said she found herself in a very dark place.
“I was depressed. I tried to take my life in January. I was on life-support. They didn’t think I was going to make it,” Jackson said. “So it was really bad because I didn’t have any hope.”
But when she discovered the Indianapolis Housing Agency offered housing assistance for people in her situation — under their “foster youth to independence initiative” — that was her lifeline. Jackson’s rent is now mostly covered. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is covering 70% of recipients’ rent for up to 36 months through this program.
“It’s good that they have these types of programs for people because I’d probably still be homeless if they didn’t,” Jackson said.
This year, the agency’s executive director vows to help house 25 more foster youth just like Jackson. It’s just one of the programs the agency is allocating nearly $1.5 million toward to create homes for people experiencing homelessness.
“We will make a commitment that will exceed what we’re currently doing to actually issue an additional 125 vouchers, having a value of $1 million on an annual basis,” said John Hall, IHA executive director.
That’s 125 people who will now have roofs over their heads this year. It’s one less thing people who are really struggling right now don’t have to worry about.
“Stand up and fight on your own and do it yourself. Just go out there,” Jackson said. “It’s never too late no matter what age.”