used by permission by The Funded Project. https://www.thefundedproject.org/
During a collaboration video between Doug Bowmer auto sales and The Funded Project on Memorial day the conversation of homelessness in Anderson came up. Rick and Doug spoke of the resources they need to get back on track. It became clear that the community sees them, sometimes helps them, some are rude, some hand cash, and some even bring clothing. What brought up the conversation is the number of veterans that served our country and now aimlessly roam the streets.
We discovered a few flaws in the system, which they believe should be addressed. Everyone is hiring, but how do you fill out an application with no address? How do you prepare for an interview or go to work if you have no way to address hygiene issues? Madison County is one of the largest counties in the state, but many of the resources seem aimed at one side of town. The problem is larger than the ones you may see roaming the streets. On any given night, you can drive around town and see people living in parking lots inside their vehicles. This does not count the 18-24-year-old age group that according to some social media survey sites as much as 20% of the age group does not have a permanent address, floating from couch to couch, to relatives and significant other's homes.
The cost of living is skyrocketing combined with the fact that availability has become a challenge. The other social flaw we are finding is that when they have an eviction no one will rent to them again. Many in the homeless community find themselves working, but not able to find an address. The hotel scene is dirty, expensive, and at times, not safe. They find more security in a Wal-Mart parking lot over a hotel. Some folks interviewed, that wish to remain unnamed also mentioned the shelters have a curfew time that may not work with their work schedule and some require that they volunteer while staying, which is needed to run the shelter, but some leave because they need to put the extra time at work to cover deposits and switching utilities on.
Granted, there are ones that drugs have taken a first position over a place to call home, but over 50% of those are also mental health cases, another underserved sector of society. We are asking the community to come together with us, and The Funded project to secure the following:
One building, that can be set up with shower stalls and washing machines, with a post-office box system and preferably an answering service for them to help them get calls for interviews.
The resources provided to be usable. when filling the food boxes, we discovered moldy bread and sour milk to name a few, the location located at 19th and Madison ave needs a refrigerator and we think we found one, they are expensive but will also need to be secured and we need a daily list of volunteers to service it.
No matter what, we have to do something. Anderson is not the only community having this issue, we find many in Hamilton county, Deleware county, and Howard County suffering the same fate. "It is a rabbit hole you fall down into and the resources available to help are not the ones you need" the unnamed participant of our interview mentioned, we can fix this.
In closing, we are asking for help. We are asking for the community, the readers of this publication, and anyone to step forward, drop a comment or message us so we can work together to fight this for our community.
Editor, Circle City Magazine