Muncie’s Bridges Community Services is closing its doors in about a week. Now, the nonprofit agencies taking over helping those experiencing homelessness all have a common goal. As IPR’s Stephanie Wiechmann reports, it’s a seamless transition that helps whomever needs help.
Bridges board president Julie Mason says the organization has had financial difficulties for the last several years.
“One of the major issues we did have with Bridges, as far as the funding sources – many of the grants we do have is “matching funds.” Some required we give 100 percent matching, some 45 percent, some 10 percent. And because our revenue that we were producing, somewhat from the rental program, was not fully covering the cost for our properties that belong to Bridges. It was absorbing all of our money.”
After September 29, those who seek services at Bridges will be helped by the Muncie Mission, YWCA, and A Better Way. They will staff the Bridges 8th Street HUB, provide help for the Tiny Village, and get people to the best place for the right help.
But Mason says the board of Bridges will also be there for those renting homes from Bridges, because those properties will stay the responsibility of the board for now. She says renters will pay their rents and submit work orders like they always have.
The agencies and the city of Muncie say they are continuing to work on a long-term plan for how housing assistance will look in the community.
Bryan Ayers with Open Door Health, who is helping with the planning, says all agencies are used to working together.
“There’s not a single challenge in this community that one organization can handle on its own. So by necessity, we all work together. If one organization struggles, we all have to work harder.”
In January of this year at the state’s annual count, there were about 3,000 people experiencing homelessness in the state. Ninety-five of those were in the region that includes Delaware, Grant, Randolph, and Jay counties.