Homeward Bound, Inc. says that according to the latest census facts, LaPorte County, IN median household income levels are $53,658 and there are 13.4% or nearly 15,000 people living in poverty. As a result, many within our community are living paycheck to paycheck and when the paycheck ends, they quickly become victims of eviction or foreclosure. Within the past year agencies supporting those in need have helped over 200 people obtain full time jobs. Many of these jobs begin at minimum wage, and even though employed, many of these people are sleeping in automobiles, couch surfing or using emergency overnight shelters. They also have many college students that have graduated with large debts, but still find it necessary to live with their parents because lack of affordable housing. They are in the process of breaking ground to build a community of small affordable cottages. In the mean-time they’re providing the 1st month’s rent to those needing help getting out of shelters.

Homeward Bound has land in order to begin building cottages that can be rented for $500/month or less. They’ve also stepped forward with a rental/ mortgage assistance program. Last year (2020) they spent $14,551 by providing the 1st month’s rent helping 33 families either remain in their home or move from shelters into apartments. This year they hope to assist at least 50 families with their Rental Assistance program. This grant will also be used to support their land development phase of their building efforts such as architect, surveying, and wetlands study expenses.

Without stable housing it becomes difficult to become a productive member of society, to find and hold a job, to access education, or to take care of health and family needs. While Homeward Bound’s overall goal is to build a community of small affordable cottages their rental/mortgage assistance program provides immediate relief to those struggling to remain in their home or to move from emergency shelters into an apartment. This grant added to what Homeward Bound has budgeted will ensure more than 50 (some are family units) individuals will have a safe roof over their head. They not only morally have a responsibility to help those that are struggling to return to the mainstream of life, but there is also a financial responsibility to our community. Between hospital (ER), mental health, prison, emergency shelters, and soup kitchens the costs related to homelessness is $31,065/yr. For every 50 people Homeward Bound is able to house, that’s a savings of $1,553,250/yr to our community.