Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

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June 14, 2013

Homeless initiative gaining momentum

DANVILLE — Dr. Mike Hartley from Family Promise of Hendricks County gave an update on the homeless initiative at this week’s Hendricks County Commissioners’ meeting.

Hartley said his reason for attending the meeting is to make sure the commissioners are aware of the initiative that concerns homeless families in Hendricks County.

“About two years ago now, a group of concerned individuals from many different backgrounds, started meeting with the same questions of ‘Is there a need in Hendricks County, a homeless need? Is there an issue here that needs to be addressed and if so, what can we do about it?’” he said. “We had no background in terms of homelessness, we were just concerned individuals.”

Hartley said in the beginning there were only a handful of people involved.

“There were about six to eight of us that started as smaller groups, and then ultimately coalesced into one larger group,” he said. “We started meeting regularly, calling ourselves the Homeless Coalition of Hendricks County.”

He said after a 2012 survey produced results indicating there were about 135 homeless children and 270 homeless families in the county, the group knew there needed to be a plan of action.

“We changed our name from the Hendricks County Homeless Coalition to Family Promise of Hendricks County,” he said. “We have incorporated, we have a board, and we have a pending 501©3 status. We are moving forward, this will happen and so I wanted to just make sure you were aware of the name.”

He said the program the initiative will follow has been successful at the national level.

“We will be the fifth affiliate within the state of Indiana and one of the first county-wide programs, with Marion being the other,” Hartley said. “The program works very successfully on many fronts, but the national data suggests that 80 percent of guests, or homeless families that go through this program are still in housing a year out from going through the program.”

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