Homelessness and Incarceration continue to challenge the city of Indianapolis.
Traditional strategies for dealing with people who have experienced homelessness and incarceration often address the problem after it happens, rather than create systems of prevention.
On January 29, 2014, there were 1,897 individuals experiencing homelessness counted in shelters and on the street. This was a 19% increase over 2013.* Chances are you’ve encountered some of these individuals or families; and perhaps even offered a helping hand.
The effects of homelessness go far beyond the absence of safe housing. The physical, emotional, and mental well-being of these individuals is at great risk, as well. In fact, Marion County spends approximately 7.8 million dollars per year in health and criminal justice costs on the chronically homeless – including those aging out of foster care.
If Indiana can reduce by 1% the number of people who return to prison, the taxpayers of Indiana can save 1.5 million dollars.
How many people is 1%? 46
With our Successful Re-entry Track, Trusted Mentors is providing mentors for reducing recidivism. With a dedicated adult mentor to help transition ex-offenders back into the community, positive change begins to take place. New habits are formed and healthy goals are achieved. In 2013, 46 of our mentored adults did not return to prison.
How can it be that for every young person who ages out of foster care, taxpayers could end up paying over $300,000 in social costs (i.e. public assistance, incarceration)? ** When a youth exits the foster care system, they face adulthood without a stable family or caring adult in their lives. The result is a much higher number who find themselves homeless or incarcerated.
A trusted mentor can be a source of a healthy relationship that will support healthy development. With mentors, these young adults can make better decisions to complete their education and stay employed and housed.
*Coalition for Homelessness Intervention and Prevention (CHIP); January 2014.
** Jim Casey Youth Foundation
For every day Trusted Mentors helps one person stay out of prison, the state of Indiana saves $54.