NewsLocal News / August 17, 2020

Damien Center To Run Hotel Housing Program

Damien Center To Run Hotel Housing Program

Damien Center is receiving funds from the City of Indianapolis to run a program that houses vulnerable people in hotel rooms.

The center was the first to provide rooms for people experiencing homelessness and at greater risk of contracting COVID-19. The city then adopted a non-congregate program and there are currently 88 people being housed in a west side hotel. 

It will receive $460,000 to run the non-congregate hotel program, as well as other efforts to rapidly rehouse people.

Damien Center President and CEO Alan Witchey said it’s important to find housing quickly for those who have suffered a crisis.

"Our job is to create self-sufficiency and that program really is designed to get people back on their feet and most people can do that," Witchey said. 

The hotel program has room for up to 120 people.

Witchey said, for many people at risk of homelessness, the pandemic made things worse.

"Many of them are the things everyone is experiencing," Wichey said, "there’s a lot of fear about this epidemic, there’s concern about financial stability and their future."

Damien Center staff on site includes peer support specialists, case managers and medical staff. The funding goes to the end of the year.

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