‘Tis the season for legislative action. This year, in Indiana, there is one bill that has the attention of LTHC Homeless Services. Senate Bill 517 was introduced by Senators Ron Alting, Michael Delph, and James Merritt to address homelessness for Indiana Veteran’s.
The bill, which has been successfully passed out of the Senate Committee on Veteran’s Affairs and The Military, creates a new state lottery ticket that would allow proceeds to fund initiatives to help Vets. Specifically, the bill’s original language calls for 60 percent of proceeds to go a homeless assistance fund (which is already in place) which could then be accessed by agencies serving homeless Vets — agencies like LTHC Homeless Services.
The Supportive Services for Veteran Families Program at LTHC started in 2013 and is designed to provide services to homeless or at-risk Veteran’s families. It is the only LTHC program that serves clients outside of Tippecanoe County and includes services in Benton, Carroll, Clinton, Fountain, Montgomery, and White Counties.
SSVF Case Managers work to connect clients to local resources to help them achieve stable housing as well as address other needs that they may have such as employment, mental health and medical care, transportation, addictions services. In fiscal year 2016, 126 Vets were served. The average length of participation in the program is four months.
The next step for Senate Bill 517 is a fiscal review at the Statehouse. LTHC will keep a close eye on the legislation as it makes its way through the system so that it may hopefully end up opening financial resources for our Veteran clients.