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Group Addressing Homelessness Discusses Jobs, Housing

The South Central Housing Network plans to create a proposal at the end of its three-day series of meetings.

A group that aims to address homelessness in South Central Indiana is exploring options for creating more affordable and sustainable housing.

Representatives from Greene, Lawrence, Martin, Monroe and Owen counties returned to Bloomington City Hall for the second day of the South Central Housing Network’s three-day series of meetings to voice their ideas for solutions to get people off the streets.

Attendees discussed how best to find jobs for the unemployed, reduce crime and provide affordable housing.

Corporation for Supportive Housing Program Manager Stephanie Sideman  says she is optimistic whatever solution the meetings arrive at will produce noticeable results quickly.

“I think there will be some early winds, you’ll see some short term impacts but then the goal is looking over the next  five years or so, what are some longer term plans and some of those will take a bit longer to implement,” she says. “Although this group, the South Central Housing Network, will hit the ground running so I think you’ll see some of the impact pretty quickly.”

The Executive Director of Bloomington’s Shalom Center, Forrest Gilmore, says he hopes the community will be supportive of whatever proposal is made.

“It won’t be helpful for people to get into decisive positions about this or that but what is going to be really helpful is let’s solve this problem and let’s solve it together,” he says. “That’s what this plan is attempting to do and if people really rally around and support it that’s exactly what it will do.”

The meetings continue through Wednesday and the group plans to create a plan they will propose to the Bloomington leaders Friday.

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