Finding homes for the homeless

Published: .
Updated: .

Even in this morning's snowy weather, a team of volunteers is walking around downtown streets trying to count every homeless person. The hope is to get them off the streets to make their lives better, and the city safer.

The volunteers are finding and counting the homeless, building a database so they know exactly who is living where, then taking steps to get them off the streets.

Nine different teams loaded up at Horizon House on East Washington Street early Thursday morning, some with blankets and water to distribute to those they met. 

This is a combined effort through the City of Indianapolis and several outreach groups to make contact with each of the homeless living in Indianapolis. The goals are to reduce crime, reduce the high medical expense of taking care of the homeless population and, of course, to give these people a dignified way of life.

"What we really want is a by-name registry," said Julie Fidler of the Department of Metropolitan Development, "where we can go back out, or send these excellent outreach professionals back out to find these folks and get them housed and get them services associated with being housed."

This is part of a national effort called 100,000 homes for 100,000 homeless - an effort to get 100,000 people into permanent housing by July 2014. Indianapolis is one of nearly 200 cities participating.

Wednesday, they located about 60 homeless people.