News Release

Media Contact:
Jennifer Hanson | (317) 237-2202 | | Twitter | Facebook
For Immediate Release:
May 01, 2017

Downtown Indy, Inc. staffs up to address panhandling Downtown

Forms homeless intervention partnership with CHIP

INDIANAPOLIS – In a continuing effort to address and mitigate panhandling in Downtown Indianapolis, Downtown Indy, Inc. (DII) has signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the Coalition for Homelessness Intervention & Prevention of Greater Indianapolis (CHIP) for the purpose of supporting a collaborative effort to stem homelessness and panhandling specifically in Downtown. DII is funding the creation of a new, full-time program manager who will focus on the development of stronger Downtown business engagement and the securing of additional funds through a public campaign to serve those facing homelessness.

The goals of the collaboration include:

  • Develop a survey tool and conduct it three times a year to better understand the housing/homeless situation for panhandlers in Downtown Indianapolis.
  • Recruit and manage an advisory committee that represents various Downtown stakeholders, including businesses, the City of Indianapolis, faith-based groups and nonprofit homeless providers.
  • Establish a community call-in number where businesses and individuals can call to express concerns about panhandling and visible homelessness in the Downtown area.
  • Rebrand the Know Outlets program to a more representative name and relaunch for greater awareness.
  • Raise a flexible pot of funds that help secure housing and fund supportive expenses that lead to housing and serve as “barrier buster” funds.
  • Assure that the Professional Blended Outreach Team and Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) are aware and updated about community concerns related to panhandling and visible homelessness.
  • Connect homeless individuals into the Continuum of Care’s coordinated entry process and to housing and addiction treatment options.
  • Track outcomes and implement evidence-based strategies that will have success.
  • Resource these efforts with a new staff person.
    • Program Manager Key Responsibilities include
      • Cultivate strong relationships with Downtown businesses and individual donors.
      • Solicit and secure donations and sponsorships.
      • Assure effective recognition is provided to sponsors and donors.
      • Develop messaging and branding for the rebranded Know Outlets program.
      • Recruit and train volunteers to the advisory committee.
      • Coordinate and conduct an annual panhandling survey (three times annually)
      • Coordinate with homeless service providers and IMPD’s Downtown flex team with the goal to connect homeless individuals into services and housing.
      • Manage the fund distribution or project management for the rebranded Know Outlets.
      • Track outcomes and create monthly outcome reports.

The goal of the partnership is to have this full-time staff person in place by summer 2017.