Every time I record one of my LarryInFishers Podcast interviews, I learn something new. That was especially true when I talked to Trisha Straus of the Fishers Youth Assistance Program September 15th.
When families struggle in Fishers and most of Hamilton County, they face hurdles not found if living elsewhere, such as Marion County. There are no local homeless shelters, there are no domestic violence shelters. The lack of public transportation can make it difficult for families in need.
Ms. Straus says her program does hook families up with services available, and there are many such programs. However, being a generally affluent community means some services are not there.
When a family needs immediate shelter, emergency housing can be found, with the help of the township trustee. But that is just to handle emergencies, and a long-term solution must be found to house this family.
Trisha Straus uses a housing program run by ASPIRE locally, but that waiting period can require 6 to 9 months on the list before housing is available. If a family has lost a job and suffered just one eviction, it is unlikely that family will be able to find rental housing in the Fishers area for at least 3 years.
I continue to run across people in Fishers who do not believe we have a homeless problem or a domestic violence issue here. I have talked with people in government and in the local schools and they can fill your ears with stories about struggling families around Fishers.
Why do I bring this up? Because there are many people and organizations in and around Fishers trying to make a difference. The Youth Assistance Program is one. The Youth Mentoring Initiative is another. The recent Pasta Bowl provides food for local food pantries and contributes food to area agencies helping the needy.
There are many more. If you have the opportunity to help an organization trying to support struggling families in Fishers, do something. Don’t just assume there are no problems here. We in Fishers do not see the same level of homelessness and poverty found in places like Marion County, but it does happen here. Anyone can lose a job, not find another position or be faced with taking employment paying much less.. These people need help. I urge you to help when you can.
You can hear the entire interview with Trisha Straus of the Fishers Youth Assistance Program at this link.