The Northeast Indiana Interagency Council on Housing and Homelessness 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness reports the following:
- There are 650 shelter beds for homeless individuals and families in Fort Wayne
- An estimated 2,500 individuals are homeless or near homeless in Fort Wayne on any given day. “Near homeless” is defined as paying more than half the household’s gross monthly income for rent.
Circumstances Resulting in Homelessness
- Shortage of housing affordable to families earning minimum wage – according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s Out of Reach report, housing is affordable if the family pays no more than 30% of their gross monthly income for rent and utilities. The Fair Market Rent for a 2-bedroom apartment in Fort Wayne is $592. Assuming a 40-hour workweek, 52 weeks per year, a head of household would have to earn $11.38 per hour to afford this rent. This is more than twice the minimum wage.
- Declining wages
- Unstable employment
- Domestic violence
- Substance abuse
- Mental Illness
- High medical bills
- Lack of dependable transportation to employment
Number of Children Affected
According to the National Coalition for the Homeless, families with children are one of the fastest growing segments of the homeless population. A study conducted by the U.S. Conference of Mayors in 2005 concluded that families with children comprise 33% of the homeless population.
Vincent Village, Inc. serves an average of 85 homeless families with children each year. Approximately 70% of the individuals in these families are children.
Nineteen Barriers to Housing for Homeless Families
- Not enough money for move-in expenses
- Transportation difficulties
- Problems finding vacant rentals
- Child care problems during housing search
- Landlords upset by children who accompany parents on housing search
- Anxiety over the interview process
- Credit concerns
- Poor tenant history
- Poor employment history
- No references
- Problems reaching housing manager
- No money for phone calls
- Long waiting lists for housing assistance
- Problems finding housing that accepts Section 8 vouchers
- Affordable housing located in unsafe neighborhoods
- Denied housing because of status as recipients of TANF
- Housing discrimination
- Fatigue during housing search
- Available housing is unacceptable
Vincent House, the USDA, and the State of Indiana are equal opportunity providers and employers.