Aurora Evansville Seeks Monthly Donors in Fight Against Homelessness as Winter Weather Mounts
Local non-profit works to assist the chronically homeless — those who’ve not had stable housing for a year. They also help people re-enter stable housing after jail time.
The Monthly Donor Society program is off to a good start, but could be more robust.
Kim Armstrong is Aurora resource development officer. She says they have about $2,500 dollars per month for this new monthly donors program.
“It lets Aurora know that we can count on a certain amount of money coming in every month, and that money goes directly to our programs, so that we can continue to place people in housing who are coming out of homelessness.”
She said they’d like to achieve $100,000 per month in monthly donations.
“… this would be this money would be general support of all seven of those programs. So it's not earmarked for a specific one program, but for all of our seven programs that we offer the community.”
Examples of these main programs include “Re-entry” which assists incarcerated individuals with their re-entry back into society. One is called “Outreach” in which teams will go out into the city and find the homeless where they are to help get them services.
The Outreach program could use more funding, and so can the “Prevention” program.
“We learned especially through COVID, that prevention is a much better way of going about it rather than waiting till somebody is evicted and homeless to get them services,” Armstrong said, adding that they assisted more than 1,500 people in 2021.
To become a monthly donor go to the auroraevansville.org to set it up. There are also thank-you gifts at certain levels.
‘White Flag’ program expansion
With freezing temperatures coming, Armstrong said the United Caring Service Shelter will be open every night through February due to extra fundraising this year.
When the nighttime weather is forecast to drop to 32 degrees for three hours or more, this activates what is called a “white flag” night — where municipal funds can be used to staff the shelter all night.
Normally the shelter is only open like this on “white flag nights.”
But the shelter will be open every night through February said Armstrong, who is also a UCS board member.
“And so folks can get out of that cold and not be turned away for any reason,” she said.
“From what I understand, when we have that cold of weather, the shelters do fill up. But we don't want to see anybody freezing. And so we do what we can to help support our shelters.”
This was made possible by funds raised during the “The Homeless Experience” this November, where local leaders lived out of doors for two days as a fundraiser.
Armstrong said $15,000 from the fundraising event will be allocated to keeping the shelter open as near-zero temperatures are expected this week.