In January 2010, a documented 908 men, women and children were on the streets or in shelters in Indianapolis; with a 58% increase in the number of homeless families from the previous year. Homelessness has a deep impact on the physical and emotional health of the adults and children who experience it, which goes far beyond the obvious reality of not having a place to call home. Marion County spends up to 6 million dollars per year on the chronically homeless in health and criminal justice costs.
In 2009, 5,668 ex-offenders were released from Indiana’s prisons and jails into Marion County, at an annual cost of $27,000 per offender. Studies have shown that employment is the #1 factor attributed to re-offending; 85% of new offenses take place when the individual is unemployed.
~A Part of the Solution~
In 2003, the City of Indianapolis unveiled the Blueprint to End Homelessness. This ten year plan set the goals of increasing supportive housing, expanding prevention services, and moving the focus from emergency responses to lasting solutions.
The Blueprint to End Homelessness outlines mentoring as one of the key strategies to achieving the goal of ending homelessness in Indianapolis; and the numbers have proven that the Power of Mentoring is effective.
In 2010, Trusted Mentors supported 85 mentoring relationships, with 86% lasting more than 6 months. Program participants had the following results:
- 86% remained housed while in the program,
- 75% procured and/or maintained employment,
- 46% worked toward advancing their education,
- 71% decreased their social alienation and/or strengthened family relationships,
- 81% of ex-offenders remained out of the correctional system, with only 2 committing new offenses.
- 109 children were affected by the stabilization of their parent/s
As you can see, the presence of a mentor in the life of someone at risk of being homeless has a profound effect. As 2011 begins, we are proud of the successes that we have had over the past year, and look forward to the relationships that we will help build in the coming year.