Homeless Indiana military vets increase 12 percent

August 7, 2013

Homelessness among Indiana military veterans increased this year while the number of homeless families with dependent children fell by nearly a quarter from last year, according to a statewide count released Wednesday.

The Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority said a count conducted Jan. 30 in all 92 of Indiana's counties showed the number of homeless veterans increased by 12 percent, to a total of 743, despite their access to rental subsidy programs including a Department of Veterans Affairs supportive housing voucher program.

More help is headed to for homeless Indiana veterans, the IHCDA said, with the recent announcement of five federal grants totaling $3.18 million to agencies in Indiana.

The number of households with dependent children fell 23 percent from last year, to 739, and the number of homeless children under 18 totaled 1,543, the agency said.

Overall, the count turned up 6,064 people without homes, a 3-percent decrease from a January 2012 count, the IHCDA said. The count is required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for every community receiving federal funds for programs to aid homeless people.

Other findings from the count, the agency said:

— Of the 6,064 homeless people found, 688 were living on the street and 5,396 were staying in shelters, safe havens or transitional housing.

— Nearly one in five (1,116) were women fleeing domestic violence.

— More than 500 said they were chronically homeless.

— Sixteen percent of the adults counted said they had chronic addictions.

— Thirteen percent of the adults counted said they had a severe mental illness.

Two private agencies serving homeless people and asked to comment on the count's findings Wednesday said representatives were unavailable.

The federal grants to agencies serving homeless veterans were announced July 11 by the VA. Five grants went to four Indiana agencies: Volunteers of America (two grants), Community Action of Northeast Indiana, the Lafayette Transitional Housing Center, and InteCare Inc. of Indianapolis. The grants are expected to serve 958 families or individuals in 58 counties.


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