The Indianapolis-based Coalition for Homelessness Intervention and Prevention has received a $1.25 million grant from the foundation created by Amazon founder and Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos.
CHIP says the award from the Day 1 Families Fund comes at a critical time as Hoosiers face the risk, or reality, of losing their homes due to the economic challenges associated with the pandemic.
“It was unexpected but really exciting. Really exciting for our communities and really exciting for families,” said CHIP Executive Director Chelsea Haring-Cozzi.
The Day 1 Families Fund, which was founded in 2018, issues grants to organizations and civic groups who are showing leadership in providing shelter and hunger support to families in need. CHIP is one of only 42 organizations nationwide to receive this year’s award.
“As families face job loss, income loss and housing loss, we must have systems and resources in place to respond quickly. We must focus on the whole family and families of all types,” said Haring-Cozzi said in a news release.
Haring-Cozi says the homeless service industry has been able to provide aid to sub-populations such as homeless youth, young adults and military veterans. But securing resources for families has been more of a challenge.
“We’ve not really had those resources to target families experiencing homelessness, and particularly families with children. So this is huge for our entire community.”
While CHIP does not provide direct services to families, it does coordinate homeless services with numerous organizations throughout Marion County. Haring-Cozzi says CHIP will regrant $1 million to its partner organizations who aid people who are struggling.
“The Day 1 Families Fund will provide the catalytic funding needed to divert more families from homelessness, and to support permanent housing solutions for families,” said Haring-Cozzi.
CHIP says it helped establish non-congregate shelters throughout the city, expand outreach to unsheltered, homeless families at high-risk for contracting the virus and secure and target funding for rapid rehousing.
The Day 1 Families Fund issued a total of $105.9 million in grants this year.
In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Haring-Cozzi explained how the grant will help multiple organizations.