News Review
Mayor Winnecke Leads Effort to Replace Funding for Agencies Serving the Homeless
Posted Date: 6/14/2016

Mayor Winnecke will help lead an effort to raise money to replace federal funding to three agencies that provide temporary housing to the homeless. The funding was lost when the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development shifted funding focus to programs that provide permanent housing. The goal is to replace $66,000 in funding for Aurora, $74,000 for the YWCA and $22,000 for Goodwill.

Information Sheet Re: Community Agencies and HUD Funding

For several years, HUD has been following a “Housing First” process for funding homeless projects and programs. In simple terms, HUD increasingly gave top priority to programs that provide permanent housing solutions for the homeless. HUD’s priority shift means that a second-tier set of programs in Evansville – those that provide temporary or emergency shelter and case management services to the homeless – received no money from HUD for 2016.

Total funding lost in 2016 grant cycle (for agencies listed below) = $400,000

Fundraising goal to replace funds expected from HUD in calendar year 2016 = $162,000

Funds raised will be distributed as such:

Aurora – $66k ($97k initial impact, minus $31k already allocated from DMD and ECHO Housing)
YWCA – $74k
Goodwill $22k

This amount will replace and restore the money HUD eliminated to these agencies that they would have spent in calendar year 2016. Raising these funds will give the Commission and these agencies the valuable time they need to identify and secure permanent, replacement funding from other sources.

Members of the fundraising team include:
• Scott Wylie and the Vanderburgh Community Foundation
• Attorney Bill Bussing
• Amy Canterbury, President and CEO of The United Way of Southwestern Indiana
• Jeff Knight, Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Counsel of Old National Bank
• Brian Kerney, Aurora; Erika Taylor, YWCA; and Bryan Baker, Goodwill Family Center
• Commission on Homelessness and its co-director Timothy Weir

Vanderburgh Community Foundation will coordinate donations. Send checks payable to:
Vanderburgh Community Foundation, 401 SE 6th Street, Evansville, IN 47708

Evansville does participate in “housing first” projects. Examples include permanent supportive housing at ECHO Housing’s Lucas Place and Aurora’s Vision 1505.

About the Agencies

Aurora – Homeless Outreach Team
Aurora's Homeless Outreach Team (HOT) has been operating since 1998 by providing care, supplies and services to those living on the streets and in shelters. This team is responsible for engaging the homeless wherever they are in our community. HOT makes the initial assessment (CES--coordinated entry system) for all agencies to determine the need and eligibility for services. HOT provides intensive case management to clients across the continuum of homelessness and is a major collaborator with shelters and other agencies. Each week the team travels to the streets and shelters to give supplies such as food, hygiene products, socks, underwear, blankets and clothing to anyone in need. For each client, our ultimate goal is a permanent housing solution while connecting them to other essential services (jobs, medical treatment, etc).

In 2015, Aurora did the following:
• Helped over 1,000 homeless clients with over 250 of those being children
• Distributed 2,500 outreach bags which contain items like food and water
• Distributed 83 starter kits that contain basic items to stock apartments
• Our homeless outreach team (there are only 2 homeless outreach teams in the entire State of Indiana) successfully helped 89% of clients living on the streets to transition into housing!!

Aurora Client Story
A few years back, our HOT team found a family of 5 living in a van at Burdette Park. April and Kenny were doing everything they could to keep their family together, but a series of unfortunate events caused them to become homeless. Johnny was working full-time as a trash man but because of a past conviction was unable to find a better paying job. He was walking 3 miles one way to work because their van was broken down. Since one of their children was disabled, they had elected to pay medical bills versus rent and were evicted from their housing. That night our HOT team moved them into a hotel while we worked on a solution. Then, we were able to connect them to our rapid rehousing program that subsidizes rent for 6 months to help get them back on their feet and then helped Kenny locate a better paying job. They recently purchased their own home.

YWCA - Transition Housing Recovery Program

The YWCA provides a highly structured four-phase residential program for homeless women in recovery from substance abuse. The typical client entering our program is unemployed and without resources. She has very little contact with her family and has likely lost custody of her children due to her history of substance abuse. Our case managers immediately begin working with new clients to assess their needs and develop personal goals for them. Clients create an Individual Development Plan and they review their progress with their case managers. We have provided housing and services to several pregnant women who gave birth to drug-free babies while participating in this program.

YWCA Client Story - Marie

A few years ago I was an IV meth user, among other things. I had already lost my home, my husband and a successful family business. I had no hope and my spirit was gone. During treatment I discovered the YWCA Transitional Housing Recovery Program. The hard fact was there were no other facilities of its kind anywhere near my two children whom I missed with an aching deep in my soul. I participated in every program offered at the YWCA. I was taught budgeting and planning by a professional banker. I took parenting classes from a CASA worker and was educated by the volunteers of Matthew 25 on the dangers of disease spread by needles. We had weekly relapse prevention education group. The staff set me up with services necessary to get glasses, receive health care, clothing and transportation among other things. They treated me with dignity and respect that began to break down the walls of self-loathing I had constructed around myself. I began attending NA and Celebrate Recovery through Restore Ministries. There I found the support system I needed to assure the efforts I made would affect permanent change. I remained in the program for 14 months and slowly my spirit was renewed and awakened. I was able to begin rebuilding every area of my life. I have since remarried and regained custody of my children. I am also a college sophomore going for a social work degree.

Goodwill Family Center

The Goodwill Family Center Transitional Housing program helps people who are homeless get back on their feet. The Goodwill Family Center provides services not found in other homeless shelters in the community such as on-site child care and comprehensive vocational services provided through the Goodwill WORK Solutions program. Other program components include intensive case management, shelter, food, educational programming, transportation assistance, and information and referral services. A family that takes full advantage of the time and services available at the Goodwill Family Center will make permanent changes in their lives. Our program teaches people how to successfully manage their money and home and develop key work skills needed to keep a job. People who successfully complete our program will have the necessary skills to break the cycles of poverty, unemployment, and homelessness, thus strengthening their family for the future.

Goodwill Family Center Client Story – Kyra

Kyra lived the first 27 years of her life in her mother’s home, surrounded by drugs and drug use. When she came to the YWCA’s emergency shelter, she had never had a job, still lived with her mother, used drugs daily, and had a school-aged son. Kyra realized that she needed to get out of that life and start one of her own. After some time at the YWCA, Kyra and her son moved into an apartment at the Goodwill Family Center. Thanks to the case management staff at the center, Kyra secured her first job, received her first paycheck, and even opened a bank account. Today, she has her own apartment with her son and is working on a degree in the medial field.