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Group works to help those facing homelessness in Hendricks County

Posted at 11:24 PM, Jul 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-31 23:24:39-04

HENDRICKS COUNTY — A record number of families could be at risk of experiencing homelessness as the additional $600 a week in unemployment benefits ended Friday and the eviction moratorium is set to expire in two weeks.

An organization in Hendricks County is stepping up to help keep hundreds of people in their homes.

Paying rent and utilities is becoming increasingly difficult for many families in Hendricks County.

"I had no more work, no money coming in," Brian Reeves said. "I had nowhere to turn."

Reeves is just one of many who lost their job due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"It was scary," Reeves said. "It was the scariest thing I've ever done in my life and I had my daughter and that was the only thing I could think of."

Reeves was living in a hotel with his 2-year-old daughter, Ivy, but without working he wasn't able to pay his bills and was about to be evicted.

"In the last 30 days, the level of need and the desperation has been astronomical," Julie Randall, executive director of Family Promise of Hendricks County, said.

Family Promise of Hendricks County works to prevent homelessness by providing emergency housing and things like rent and utility assistance. Randall said during the pandemic they've been helping around 180 families a month, but this month the need was unlike anything they've ever seen.

"308 families this month have already received assistance from Family Promise and a lot is in the form of rent, utilities, clothing, car repairs, transportation, food," Randall said.

Randall said the coming months could be even worse but they're ready to help hundreds more through their PowerHouse project, which is made possible due to a $100,000 grant from Impact 100.

"We've prepared all of these funds and our staff for the onslaught that we know is coming," Randall said. "We call it a tidal wave of evictions that is on our way."

Sometimes, this little boost is all families need to get back on track, Randall said.

"They saved me," Reeves said. "They gave me every tool I needed to get the job done."