EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT)- In 1962, President John F. Kennedy launched an ambitious mission, one that would land a man on the moon within a decade. Now, sixty years later- Evansville’s Commission on Homelessness offered their latest ambitious proposal to United Neighborhoods of Evansville, one that would end homelessness in the city within ten years.

The proposal is the third ten-year plan set by the Commission and comes as nearly 400 people stay in Evansville shelters on any given night. Gayl Killough from the Department of Metropolitan Development says that anywhere from 2,000 to 3,000 people come through Evansville shelters every year, though Killough says most people only experience homelessness briefly.

Over the past decade, the city has seen a drop in people experiencing chronic homelessness for a year or more. In 2015, 105 people experienced chronic homelessness. By 2020, that number dropped to just 31. Still, that’s little consolation to people experiencing homelessness, like Lynn Murray. Murray says she doesn’t believe the situation is being handled well and thinks “homelessness-land” is hidden in plain sight.

Murray stays in a shelter and considers herself “really lucky” in comparison to those who get turned away when shelters don’t have enough beds, especially in the winter.

Evansville City Councilman and Aurora Executive Director Zac Heronemus says that federal funding providing money to address homelessness and local organizations, like Aurora, are finally providing the opportunity they need to “end the homeless experience in Evansville for those who are experiencing it today”

Killough says the plan builds on its two predecessors, including provisions to address racial equity and collect data on the homelessness experience. Killough adds that their focus is both to address the needs of the homeless and to prevent people from becoming homeless through community responses.

So far, the plan is still in its recommendations phase but Killough hopes to have the ten-year plan finalized by this fall.