In 2007, CSH recognized the need for supportive housing in Indiana and wanted to get involved — but we knew we couldn’t do it alone. So, we turned to the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA) to collaborate with us to address this gap. Together, we created a statewide supportive housing initiative and CSH soon opened an office in Indiana. And our partnership has grown from there.
Discussions with local and national groups made it increasingly apparent that cities and states needed a comprehensive tool to help individuals and families prioritize housing options. CSH staff in Illinois and Indiana began developing the framework for a housing options tool, which debuted to great success in Chicago. We turned again to IHCDA to join with us to take the tool to the next step – implementation at the state level.
The Indiana Housing Opportunity Planner and Evaluator (IHOPE) launched in 2009. This virtual tool is a single point of entry for the federal Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program, helping IHCDA subcontracted agencies identify eligible persons and determine the right level of assistance for them. Since the initial rollout, we have expanded the use of IHOPE and have engaged 16 local Continuums of Care in a nine-month Triage Project that includes integrated IHOPE into each community.
Sherry Seiwert, Executive Director for IHCDA said it best: “Through IHCDA’s partnership with CSH, Indiana has been brought to the national forefront as a leader in the Permanent Supportive Housing Initiative, working toward permanent solutions for persons experiencing long-term homeless accompanied by serious mental illness.”