For over 30 years Vincent Village has helped homeless families with children gain permanent housing and self-sufficiency. Our strategy ensures there is lasting impact, getting to the root cause of barriers that lead them to homelessness, not just providing a safe space or rental home, but addressing the multitude of complex issues that brought them to us.
According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, “the US has a shortage of 7 MILLION rental homes affordable and available to extremely low-income renter households”. This coupled with high local eviction rates (Fort Wayne being 13th in the nation), housing is becoming the leading unmet basic need for many of our vulnerable families. With some, there is also added debt of past due utility bills and garnishments. Even those who have a housing choice voucher, face a search for rental homes that will even accept the voucher. We know that housing is the center of a family’s ability to receive services, remain employment, and foster a place for stability for children.
Vincent Village offers TWO housing programs (Vincent House Shelter and Village Rental Homes) to address these issues and the wrap-around support and services needed for families to stay housed. We work with families to pay off debt, learn how to budget, and raise their credit scores. We are the first call when there are not only financial strains but other extenuating circumstances that affect their stable housing. With this guidance and support, we not only provide housing for over 200 individuals every year but keep them housed, providing services that prevent eviction and end the cycle of homelessness.
During COVID-19, Vincent Village has remained steadfast to this mission and is leaning into our calling, even more, to provide strength, guidance, support, and even accountability during this time. Vincent Village has worked to pivot during this time and rather than shying away from programming, we are actually expanding our services to our residents through additional staffing, equipment, safety measures, rental assistance, and case management support. On average, we served 30 individuals in the Vincent House and 102 individuals in the Village Phase II program each night.