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Indiana Homelessness Rate Down By 6 Percent From 2016

shelter

A study released this week by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development shows the number of people in Indiana experiencing homelessness has gone down.

The study shows the number of people in Indiana experiencing homelessness on a single night has dropped by just over 6 percent since last year. The report also says the number of people experiencing chronic homelessness is down by nearly 9 percent.

Homelessness in families with children is also down by more than 8 percent since last year.

James Cunningham is the deputy regional administrator for HUD’s Midwest branch. He says the decline is because HUD and connected agencies have transitioned to what’s called a “housing first model.”

“We’re trying to get more people into shelter first, instead of trying to do the wraparound services,” Cunningham says. “Get them into housing first, and then most of that is trying to get them into permanent supportive housing.”

Cunningham also says Indiana has one of the lowest rates of chronic unsheltered homelessness in the country.

“Most of them, 89 percent, are in shelters. So they’re not out on the street,” Cunningham says.

But HUD Secretary Ben Carson says in a press release that the decline isn’t universal. While most areas are seeing a drop in the number of people experiencing homelessness, areas with a higher cost of living are seeing an increase.

“With rents rising faster than incomes, we need to bring everybody to the table to produce more affordable housing and ease the pressure that is forcing too many of our neighbors into our shelters and onto our streets,” Carson says. “This is not a federal problem—it’s everybody’s problem.”

The report says Indiana’s rate of homelessness has dropped by about 16 percent since 2010.

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