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$10 million property will assist homeless students in Indiana



Indianapolis, Indiana – The St. Lucas Lofts, a 48-unit neighborhood of multifamily supportive housing on the nearby Eastside, will soon be built thanks to a $10 million investment from CVS Health.

“It will become the very foundation to helping them move one step closer to their hopes and dreams. It will become their reality. That sky is truly the limit,” said LaMar Holliday, a member of the board of directors with Outreach Inc.

In order to have 10 apartments designated particularly for adolescents transitioning from homelessness, the City of Indianapolis contributed $2 million to the project. The Indiana Department of Education reports that during the 2018–19 school year, 16,380 Indiana students were homeless. Of those students, nearly 5,000 are Black or African-American.

“We need to embrace them with every part of our being and make them the community of the future,” said Lena Barkley with CVS Health Workforce Initiatives. “They are our future and if we don’t work with them, what is that future going to look like?”

The city still has to contend with out-of-state speculators, who frequently purchase substantial amounts of land and drive up neighborhood rents.

Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett said, “We keep a pretty close eye on ownership, particularly on properties that we most recently have been trying to acquire from, how shall I say, absentee landlords who care very little about the quality of the property itself.”

I-Team 8 reported last week that a major factor in the homeownership disparity between Black and White Hoosiers remaining at 38%, the same as it was in the 1960s, was out-of-state investors. According to Hogsett, it is hoped that more accessible housing will increase the number of prospects for future home ownership. “I think it comes in steps, but I think that the commitment that the city is making along with all of our partners is going to be transformative for the entire community.”

The St. Lucas Lofts should be finished by February 2024 and ready for rent by the following summer.

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