My Own Room
My own room. Warm. Dry. Safe.
During the week of May 1st, people who were experiencing homelessness were given their own key to their own apartments. For some, for the first time in over 5 years. "Tonight is my first night sleeping behind a private, locked door in 5 years," said a new resident, Kevin.
Over the next three weeks Partners In Housing will be bringing 50 people who are experiencing homelessness off of the streets in Indianapolis.This is a pilot program, the first one ever in the country, where a nonprofit housing provider is working with a health insurance provider, Anthem, to get people inside. This year long program will wrap individuals up in services provided by Adult and Child for things as simple as getting their birth certificates all the way to mental health services.
We will also have a free medical and dental clinic on-site for residents to use through Genessaret. More than that Partners In Housing will have a full time staff person working to find these individuals permanent housing in one year.
Stay tuned for more of the story in the days and weeks to come.
In the meantime, here is the press release from Anthem and Partners In Housing.
Mayor Joe Hogsett, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield Unveil
Housing and Medicaid Services Pilot Program
Initiative will support Anthem members experiencing homelessness by improving overall health and quality of life, fostering social connections and supporting housing independence.
INDIANAPOLIS, IN (May 1, 2017) – Today, Mayor Joe Hogsett, along with Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Partners in Housing and Adult & Child, launched a first-of-its-kind pilot program that will provide a temporary safe haven and healthcare services to individuals experiencing homelessness in the Indianapolis community. The program’s launch will target those residents impacted by the closing of The Jungle, a recently closed site that had been home to many individuals experiencing homelessness. The pilot program is designed to connect participants with sustainable, secure housing that will support autonomy, provide connections to wrap around services, and improve residents’ health and quality of life.
“As Mayor, my administration has been steadfastly committed to alleviating homelessness in Indianapolis by supporting programs specifically designed to address the underlying health, economic and social issues that contribute to homelessness,” said Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett. “I believe that this pilot program will provide those experiencing homelessness, including those who have been impacted by the closing of The Jungle, with the type of comprehensive support services that will embolden them to live healthy, independent lives.”
The program will only be available to Anthem Medicaid members and will target individuals experiencing homelessness who may have significant mental health and/or substance use issues, multiple physical health issues, and need access to acute, care crisis services. Anthem, in addition to providing customary Medicaid benefits, will fund and support intensive health care and social services navigation services and intensive tenancy and housing support programs.
“Anthem has a long-standing commitment to supporting our Medicaid members through partnerships that can help address key social determinant risk factors and economic disparities and improve their overall health,” said Kristen Metzger, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicaid plan president. “We are excited about the opportunity to work with such tremendous partners on this program and look forward to providing our members with this value added benefit and services that can improve their long-term well-being.”
The City of Indianapolis will provide funding for beds and facility costs. While Anthem will provide Medicaid benefits and support services, Medicaid funds will not be used to cover the costs of housing.
As part of its long standing commitment to end homelessness, Partners in Housing will provide transition and tenancy sustaining services at the Blue Triangle Apartments aimed at finding permanent housing for program participants. In addition to supporting the pilot program, Partners in Housing will convert all the rooms to studio efficiency apartment, which will allow the property to be designated as supportive housing units. Adult & Child will offer health and community navigation and provide wrap-around services.
“As part of our responsibility to strengthening the Indianapolis community, we are thrilled to be partnering with the City and Anthem on a project that offers those in need with an opportunity to be connected with safe and stable housing,” said Scott Armstrong, Executive Director of Partners in Housing. “We view this program as an opportunity to support members of the community and help them reach their highest levels of self-sufficiency and independence.”
While this pilot program has been designed as a short term initiative, the goal will be to link a portion of the estimated 1,600 people experiencing homelessness in Indianapolis with sustainable, secure housing.