A new construction 25 unit supportive housing development called Crawford Apartments opened in Bloomington, IN on September 6th to a full house of new tenants, neighbors, and champions. Mayor Mark Kruzan welcomed the community to the grand opening of this development serving people who have faced chronic homelessness. All tenants were selected by using a vulnerability index to ensure that those with the greatest needs were screened into housing. Please click here to view additional pictures of Crawford Apartments and the Ribbon Cutting event for this development.
Crawford Apartments was named in honor of Mr. Franklin "Road Dog" Crawford. Those who knew Frank enjoyed his sense of humor and lively spirit. Cycling between the local hospital and streets, Frank suffered from many ailments and would have been an ideal tenant for this apartment complex. It was only discovered that Frank had passed away when a neighbor found his body in a dumpster. He had literately been thrown away. A group of providers joined together with a mission to never allow this to happen to anyone else in South Central IN by developing supportive housing for vulnerable individuals who have been on the streets for a very long time.
This team is led by LifeDesigns (developer) and the Shalom Center (supportive service provider) and includes Milestone Ventures (development consultant), Hayes Gibson International (property manager), Bloomington Housing Authority, IU Hospital, Positive Link, Kurt Buehler, a member of Genesis Church and community leader with a passion for serving those with the greatest barriers. This group completed the Indiana Permanent Supportive Housing Institute in 2011 and received a Pre-development Initiation Loan from CSH.
Having developed quality affordable housing over the past six years, LifeDesigns opted to lend their experience to this worthwhile project. Executive Director, Susan Rinne, stated that "over the course of our involvement in the Supportive Housing Institute and planning for the project we became aware of the efficacy of this model and the high level of need in our community. We were pleased to be able to be part of the solution and this wonderful team of agencies and individuals working toward ending homelessness here in south central Indiana." She went on to say that "the Apartments will provide safe, affordable housing to a very vulnerable group of people. And when they have that along with greater access to services, we know will save our community money that can be redirected to other needs. A win, win that will ultimately improve the whole community."
Rodney Stockment, Indiana Housing Community Development Authority Research and Innovation Senior Associate had this to say: "Crawford Apartments is leading the way in developing a “Housing First” supportive housing development. Housing First represents a significant paradigm shift in addressing the costly phenomenon of homelessness. This strategy demonstrates impressive outcomes when people are supported in a permanent, housed environment, rather than targeted for intensive services in shelters or streets. Crawford Apartments will have a huge impact on individuals with long histories of homelessness by providing them with stable housing and access to services. Crawford Apartments happened because of the passion and courage the team has to provide the most vulnerable among us housing and dignity."
CSH is proud to have been part of this journey and we look forward to staying involved as Crawford Apartments transitions from a development project to an operating supportive housing development that shines as an example of what can be done when a community believes that they can do better for those who are the most vulnerable. We believe that Mr. Crawford would have approved.