The Indiana Supportive Housing Institute began during the first week of April with a focus on supportive housing programs that will address the needs of people experiencing homelessness, people with high medical vulnerability, and frequent users of emergency systems.
Five teams are participating in the 2015 Institute from South Bend, Porter County, Lafayette, Bloomington, and New Albany.
Ray Lay, an Indiana Certified Recovery Specialist and VA Peer Support Specialist, is serving as one of the Institute trainers and spoke at this session. As a current supportive housing tenant through the HUD VASH program, Ray has been in recovery for eight years and works tirelessly to help others find their path to wellness. He shared some of his background with the Institute teams and the role that housing and support has played in his life.
"I have slept on the ground in many, many places, and I can tell you that being in your own home makes you want to do more. So I do a lot to fight stigma and help others," Ray commented when asked why he is so committed to sharing his lived experience with others.
The Institute is sponsored by the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority and Division of Mental Health and Addiction. Staff from both agencies are actively involved in the learning process with Institute teams, helping groups think through how to make the largest impact possible in their community. Jake Sipe, IHCDA Executive Director, addressed the teams at this session and spoke about a study on supportive housing conducted by the University of Southern Indiana. This study demonstrated that the supportive housing in Evansville, IN has been incredibly cost effective, in addition to being beneficial for residents and the community. Including the costs associated with housing and providing services to households, supportive housing has saved thousands of dollars due to residents no longer needing to depend on emergency services.
The Institute will include four additional sessions and a peer to peer trip, concluding with a finale in August where each team will share their vision for their supportive housing project. Participants are learning both inside and outside of sessions, thanks to online courses created by the CSH Training Center, with support from our sponsors. We want to thank our generous sponsors for their commitment to state-wide capacity building:
Supportive Housing Leader
Great Lakes Capital Fund
Supportive Housing Partners
Kuhl and Grant LLP, Attorneys at Law
Old National Bank
Bose McKinney & Evans LLP
City Real Estate Advisors, Inc.
Federal Home Loan Bank of Indianapolis