A new collaborative effort is beginning to fight homelessness in Tippecanoe County.
It’s called Solutions Beyond Shelter and aims at identifying the issues most important to dealing with those who are homeless or at risk.
United Way CEO James Taylor says people who have experienced the problem – or are now – are needed to help solve the problem. He says service providers, and people who understand the challenges facing low-income individuals, should participate also.
"If someone is low-income or have family members who are, or have come out of a low-income background, we want to hear from them. All of those perspectives would be helpful for us to have."
There are two community kick-off events Tuesday, May 1, to hear about the process and give some initial input.
Taylor says organizers will take the initial comments and put together a proposal for review in June.
"Sheltering people is important to do, but we need to think about solutions beyond shelters. What we can do upstream to help ideally solve problems, but at least mitigate them, to prevent more people from falling into homelessness."
The two community meetings are at the Holiday Inn City Centre in downtown Lafayette. The first is from 10am - noon and the evening session is from 5 - 7 pm.
The United Way, county, cities and other groups are partnering on the effort.