You might not know it from being on Monument Circle in downtown Indianapolis, but the overall number of homeless individuals in the city is actually down, but they have fewer places to go.
According to the Coalition for Homeless Intervention and Prevention (CHIP), the homeless population dropped by six percent from 2017, but they have also become more visible and many of them are concentrating in the downtown area.
CHIP Executive Director Alan Witchey cites three main reasons for increased visibility; an increase in homeless camp dislocations, eviction rates and the redevelopment of abandoned properties.
Witchey says in the past six months, seven camps have been closed down and more than 100 people dislocated. He also adds the growth in building, as well as the redevelopment of abandoned properties, have left the homeless without options. And he says Indianapolis ranks 14th in the nation when it comes to evictions, which also adds to the problem.
Indianapolis received more than $5 million in federal funds to address the issue and on any given day, Witchey says there are about 1700 homeless in the city, but less than three percent are visible to the public.
You can hear Witchey in the Leon-Tailored Audio above. Each segment runs between 9-12 minutes.