State Sen. Ron Alting (R-Lafayette) today unveiled legislation to help homeless Hoosier veterans.
SB 517 would require the Indiana State Lottery Commission to adopt rules to create a scratch-off game to benefit Hoosier veterans. The bill would also establish the Veterans Homelessness Assistance Fund. This would be overseen by the Indiana Department of Veterans’ Affairs, which would distribute funds in the form of grants.
“In 2016, there were 663 homeless Hoosier veterans across the state,” Alting said. “Although this number has steadily decreased over the past few years, it’s still too high. I believe this legislation will provide the much needed services that focus on mental health and job training that will allow these veterans to get back on their feet and live a quality life.”
Under the legislation, these funds can only be used for services benefitting veterans, including:
* Programs focused on preventing and eliminating homelessness by providing a safe and secure living condition;
* Assistance with moving out of public housing, toward permanent housing;
* Helping veterans find federal and state resources;
* Therapeutic services; and
* Job training and job search assistance.
Alting added that in Marion County there are 326 homeless veterans, which accounts for 25 percent of the adult homeless population. In Alting’s district, the Lafayette Transitional Housing Center has housed 238 veterans and their families since 2013.