By JOHN KLINE
THE GOSHEN NEWS
Homeless assistance in Elkhart County received a significant boost Monday following a decision by the Elkhart County Board of Commissioners to allow the poverty assistance organization Community Action of Northeast Indiana (CANI) to operate within the county’s borders.
Kris Krueger, grants administrator for Elkhart County, informed the board Monday that CANI’s Allen County office has received a $185,000 grant from the Indiana Housing Community Development Authority that the organization hopes to use to provide housing and utilities assistance for area homeless.
“They are asking for our authorization to work in our county as part of that program, which is a multicounty program,” Krueger said. “Basically they’re going to provide security deposits, utility deposits, some monthly payments, and connect them with all the other financial and housing assistance programs like vouchers, etc.”
According to the CANI website, (www.canihelp.org) CANI is a private, non-profit agency based out of Fort Wayne that promotes economic and community development by providing resources, helping people gain access to opportunities and teaching them the skills they need to become self-sufficient.
CANI provides one or more programs and services in Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Elkhart, Grant, Huntington, Kosciusko, LaGrange, Noble, Wells, Steuben and Whitley counties, the site states. CANI is involved in economic development, family development, mentoring, adult education and job training.
Following Krueger’s presentation, County Commissioner Mike Yoder asked Krueger if the county would have any financial responsibility for the program should CANI be allowed to operate within Elkhart County.
“Allen County would like your permission to do this program in Elkhart County,” Krueger responded. “It’s just you guys signing saying you’re aware of it and yes, they can do it.”
Anyone interested in learning more about CANI’s services is asked to call the organization’s main office at 260-423-3546, or toll free at 800-589-2264, and the operator will transfer them to the appropriate program by county. Energy assistance and child care vouchers require appointments. Applications for several of the organizations programs are also available through the CANI website, www.canihelp.org.