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LETTER: Housing concept isn’t new

October 7, 2017

As a 24-year-old organization providing permanent supportive housing, Partners in Housing was pleased to see much-needed attention given to the critical issue of homelessness [New housing options for homeless foster stability, Sept. 25]. We are proud of the work done at Penn Place by our community partners.

Because of the assertion that this is the “first project to employ a so-called ‘Housing First’ model” in Indianapolis, the community might not be aware that PIH has been using Housing First as its guiding principle for well over a decade. The base principles of Housing First—no barriers to entry, robust voluntary services, no demands of sobriety and eviction prevention—are things that we practice every day with our 600-plus residents. What seems to distinguish Penn Place is an effort to have this specific project studied by a third party, and we applaud any additional information that can be gleaned from this next step.

PIH and other community partners have been using Housing First for a long time in Indianapolis, and the benefits have been innumerable to housing our neighbors without homes. Housing First at its heart means ending homelessness by providing a home. It seems simplistic, but it is many times anything but. We would like to invite anyone from the IBJ, and especially any other interested community members to contact us about the work we do and how we might combine efforts to do even more.

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Scott Armstrong, executive director
Partners In Housing

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