Indianapolis OKs $300K to combat homelessness, panhandling

Indianapolis officials are hoping a program that will pay the homeless to clean up trash can help address the city's growing homeless population.

Posted: Mar 4, 2019 7:16 AM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indianapolis officials are hoping a program that will pay the homeless to clean up trash can help address the city's growing homeless population.

The City-County Council approved $300,000 to help the homeless last week. Mayor Joe Hogsett's office wants to spend about half that money on mental health treatment, addiction treatment and other services for about 50 people who receive housing vouchers or federal rent assistance.

WISH-TV reports that the funding's other half will go toward a pilot program to pay panhandlers to clean up litter and graffiti.

City officials hope the employment program can be in operation by the spring or early summer.

It's modeled after a program in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where leaders say more than 1,500 people have participated and 76 have gained permanent jobs.

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