Make your home page

Indianapolis receives $9.4M to fight homelessness

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — There were nearly 2,000 people experiencing homelessness in Indianapolis last year, and the city has just received money to provide resources to many of those people.

On Wednesday, the city was awarded $9.4 million in Continuum of Care Competition Awards from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The money will go toward helping Indy’s homeless find permanent housing and access to supportive services.

“For HUD’s Continuum of Care funding, we focus on those considered homeless. Those are people living in places not meant for human habitation — in shelters, transition housing, and safe havens, because those are the people with the highest vulnerabilities,” Chelsea Harging-Cozzi, executive director of the Coalition for Homelessness Intervention, said.

Harging-Cozzi says her organization will help people with rental assistance and housing vouchers, but it needs support from the business community. 

“We are looking for partnerships between landlords and units. Making sure there are flexible tenant screen practices,” Harging-Cozzi said.

One person who could benefit from the programs receiving federal money is 50-year-old Bryant Brown.

Brown says he became homeless after losing his spouse and has been on and off the streets for years.

“I am at the railroad tracks in a little camp I have. I have tarps, shelter, a fire pit to cook food,” Brown said. “I can’t work because of health conditions.”

Brown says his goal is to get out of homelessness and have a home of his own.

“Someday, I will get out of the dirt. If you have a home, you have a toilet. You have air conditioning. Once you come out here, you don’t have those conveniences anymore, and you have to maintain however you can,” Brown said.