A homeless encampment is seen behind the post office near Seminary Park on Dec. 24, 2020. Staff file photo by Rich Janzaruk
A homeless encampment is seen behind the post office near Seminary Park on Dec. 24, 2020. Staff file photo by Rich Janzaruk
Advocates for homeless people are calling for more low-income housing, improved health care access, the creation of a real-time data dashboard, and an entity to coordinate efforts to prevent homelessness.

In a new 11-page report issued Friday, groups including the United Way of Monroe County also said the community must focus first on providing housing for homeless people so they have shelter while the underlying conditions that caused their homelessness can be addressed.

“I think one of the most meaningful conclusions from this work is that it does take our community in the direction of alignment around a housing-first model, which … is evidence-based and has shown success in many of the communities we have researched,” United Way Executive Director Efrat Feferman told The Herald-Times.

The groups, which also include the Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County and the South Central Housing Network, identified strategies to make homelessness brief, rare and non-repeating.

Those strategies include:

• Increasing the housing stock for low-income households.
• Expanding services for homeless people with substance use disorders.
• Incentivizing landlords to prioritize low-income housing.
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