Life is difficult for the chronically homeless, and those with the misfortune of having a disability are even more at risk. Unfortunately, the resources dedicated to helping alleviate homelessness are scarce. For a city like Bloomington, Indiana, which has one of the most expensive real estate and rental markets in the state, finding shelter and support is even more challenging.
That’s continuing to change with the expansion of the Crawford Apartments, supported by a $500,000 Affordable Housing Program (AHP) grant secured by FHLBank Indianapolis member Old National Bank and LifeDesigns, a nonprofit organization that develops housing for people with disabilities.
In 2012, FHLBank Indianapolis awarded a $380,000 AHP grant to LifeDesigns and Old National Bank to build the first phase of the Crawford Apartments. That development provided 25 units of a permanent supportive housing for disabled people experiencing homelessness; the Crawford II expansion provides an additional 36 one-bedroom units.
“Crawford II follows the success of Crawford I – a permanent supportive housing model that’s shown great results,” said Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton. “It helps people without housing to first get housing, and then work on other aspects of life like employment and education.”
Providing permanent shelter without a move-out date, plus guided case management and support, is needed to address the underlying issues affecting people experiencing homelessness. Whether they suffer from mental illness, addiction, or trauma, the residents at Crawford are getting the support they need to have a better life.
“The FHLBank Indianapolis is proud to be a funding partner with properties like the Crawford apartments which demonstrates an innovative approach to serving the community,” said MaryBeth Wott, FHLBank Indianapolis Community Investment Officer. “By providing wraparound services to their residents, we know that this property is not only going to provide people in need a place to live – it’s going to change lives.”
“These apartments are life-changing and life-saving,” said Forrest Gilmore, Executive Director of the Shalom Community Center, which provides support services to Crawford. “We’ve seen all kinds of impacts, from significant health improvements, to addiction reduction, to proper health care, and happier people.”
FHLBank Indianapolis AHP Portfolio Manager Trish Lewis (in red) joined community leaders and partners at the Crawford II ribbon cutting ceremony in spring 2018.