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Lafayette day shelter for homeless to close in May

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – After serving the homeless for almost three decades, the Mental Health America Day Shelter has announced it is closing its doors. However, as one shelter door closes another will soon open.

Directors of Mental Health America of Tippecanoe County and Lafayette Transitional Housing Center announced Tuesday they will be shifting daytime services for the homeless.

The MHA Day Shelter, which has provided daytime shelter and services to our area’s homeless for 29 years, will close on Sunday, May 31. Officials said the closing comes as a result of changes in homeless services on both the local and federal level.

Chief Executive Officer of MHA Jennifer Flora said they will miss their Day Shelter.

“We’ve served thousands of people over the years and we’ve seen a lot of miracles happen in that Day Shelter,” Flora explained. “We’ve seen people go from addictions to sobriety, and from experiencing untreated serious mental illness to receiving treatment and becoming housed. We’ve seen families reunited and people complete college degrees. We’ll greatly miss this service that has been so much a part of MHA.”

However, LTHC said it will offer services by expanding hours at their Howarth Center beginning Monday, June 1 at 7:30 a.m.

Executive Director of LTHC Jennifer Layton said the new shelter will be welcoming everyone who has received services at the Day Shelter.

“We will remain open until 8:30 p.m., which is quite a change for us. We know this will be a challenge, but we’re excited about this expansion,” said Layton. “We will be sending caseworkers to the MHA Day Shelter the week before we expand to help the clients and our staff become better acquainted and to allow for a smooth transition.

Flora says the federal government wants communities to establish a central point of entry for the homeless.

“They’re wanting individuals who are homeless to be able to go to one place and receive all the services that they would be needing,” Flora said.

Layton said both agencies have worked together closely to assure that no gaps in services will take place.

MHA will continue to provide other programs and services.