News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

December 31, 2013

Group issues challenge to find homes for homeless

TERRE HAUTE — A local organization that finds homes for the homeless has issued a challenge to others to find new uses for abandoned and rundown properties.

Families By Choice founder Muriel Drake Ryan said Monday that expanding beyond group homes for the homeless in Terre Haute is one of the goals for the next five to seven years, and FBC wants to have safe and energy-efficient rental homes available in two years.

Many houses marked with condemnation stickers can be rehabilitated, she said, and many people facing eviction need advocates who can step in to help keep those people housed while working out their financial difficulties. Volunteers wanting to help with those issues are encouraged to contact FBC to find out how to make a difference for the homeless.

Families By Choice is entering its eighth year in the Terre Haute area, providing housing and offering feeding programs. The organization provides transitional housing such as Deborah’s House for single women with young children; Project Jonathan for intellectually challenged adults older than 30; and Timothy’s House for men, with preference given to those exiting foster care.

Ryan said homeless people in Terre Haute are often limited in finding housing, due to public housing regulations or by poor quality of affordable rental units. She said she has met with the city’s code enforcement office and has found that about 350 properties in the city are listed as condemned, but about 40 percent could be rehabilitated to be safe and sanitary for $5,000 or less.

Setting standards for rental property is an issue for Families by Choice, she said. Structures must be mechanically and physically sound, as well as insulated so that the occupants have safe, affordable housing. She said she hopes to start a program where acceptable rental properties receive an FBC sticker to display – a sort of seal of approval landlords would seek.

Another option that FBC plans to start is a rent-to-own program in which occupants are coached for two years to learn about home ownership, credit, budgeting and saving, with home ownership as the final step.

Rehabilitating houses and selling them to the occupants with a low profit margin will also help clean up neighborhoods and get people invested in their futures and the community, she said. FBC is already partnered with a local bank to acquire property that can be rehabilitated and sold to people in need of housing.

Families By Choice recently went through a financial audit which showed no discrepancies in the use of contributions from donors, Ryan said. The organization, which now has a 10-member board of directors, is expanding its network to include area labor unions, churches and organizations.

Anyone wanting to get involved in FBC can send a letter of interest to Families By Choice Inc., 164 Allendale Court, Terre Haute, IN 47802. To reach the organization’s community outreach office, call 812-230-4401.

Reporter Lisa Trigg can be reached at 812-231-4254 or Follow her on Twitter @TribStarLisa.


Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local & Bistate
Latest News Poll
AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Mother of 2 Makes NFL Cheerleading Squad at 40 Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Airstrike Shatters Fragile Calm in Gaza Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming Raw: Sirens After Explosions in Israel Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Thousands at Peace Rally in Tel Aviv Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Judge OKs Record-setting $2B Sale of Clipper Suspect Dead, Marshals and Cop Wounded in NYC
NDN Video
Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Chapter Two: Designing for Naomi Watts Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH) She's Back! See Paris Hilton's New Carl's Jr. Ad Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -


    March 12, 2010