"Destination: Home--a Ten-Year Journey to End Homelessness in Evansville and Vanderburgh County" is the result of a two-year collaborative effort involving over 200 individuals. This report looks to a future in which homelessness no longer has a place on our list of acceptable evils.
On any given night, nearly 400 individuals are housed in our emergency shelters and transitional housing programs. Over a third of them are under the age of 18.
Existing resources are stretched, and in spite of the fact that our community has 18 specialized programs and invests over $6 million a year in homeless services, the number of homeless on our streets and in our shelters continues to grow.
The 2000 Census made the numbers clear: Vanderburgh County has the highest per-capita rate of homelessness in the state. We cannot wish these facts away.
Homelessness in our community is a reality and ever-increasing numbers of our residents are experiencing this reality firsthand.
This ten-year plan establishes the parameters for ending homelessness in our community by addressing both the root causes and the effects of homelessness.
Like many other communities across the nation, we have sought to identify core issues and develop strategies to address them.
If we are to develop effective means of addressing homelessness, we must first assessthe factors that lead to homelessness in our community through the development of a comprehensive data-gathering and evaluation system.
We must then address the identified issues head-on and develop strategies that effectively close the front door to homelessness. We can do this by clearly identifying the individuals most at-risk for homelessness and developing services that address the gaps between personal income and expenses that result in the loss of housing.
For those who are already homeless, our task is to open the back door and establish them in permanent housing. This can be accomplished by changing our perspective on the delivery of services. Stable housing itself is often key to the success of the services that will equip people to build a secure future. Rather than allocate services only to those who are classified homeless, the creation of supportive housing units will allow individuals and families to continue to receive the services they need while they have the security of living in their own apartment or house.
To accomplish this goal, we must build the infrastructure of our community in ways that recognize the key role of secure and affordable housing and the necessity of incomes that match the cost of living in Vanderburgh County, and facilitate access to existing services that both prevent and address homelessness.
The success of this plan also depends upon increasing public awareness of the solutions to homelessness and the ways we can all work together to build a community where 2014 finds each of us in secure and affordable housing.
Click on the "PLAN" image below to access the first component of "Destination Home:" Plan
To access the full 10-year plan in PDF format,
click here: "Destination Home" 10-year plan