Evansville City Council approves money for business loans and grant money to prevent homelessness

Local News

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) — At its meeting Monday, the Evansville City Council approved money to help individuals and businesses in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Council members approved setting aside more than $100,000 to assist businesses that need it. Most of that money will come from a grant the city already received from the Indiana Small Business Development Center.

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The money will be given to businesses in the form of zero interest loans.

“They are hoping to find 20 businesses that they can award $5,000 each to help restart their businesses,” Councilman Ron Beane said.

People interested in the loans should contact the Department of Metropolitan Development.

The council also approved more than $790,000 in new federal Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG).

The funds are targeted towards those affected by the economic disaster created by COVID-19. The council says there will be more of an emphasis on homeless prevention with the grants.

The funds are largely intended to mitigate the housing instability of those that may be new to being on the brink of homelessness, those that have fallen behind on their rent and can be diverted from entering the homeless system, and for those that also have the ability to quickly recover with a suddenly improved economy.

Evansville has two years to spend the money, but city officials say they’re not expecting it to last that long.

“I think we’re gonna find that there are a lot of people that are out of work and need food and need homes so they’ll go through that fairly quickly I believe,” Beane said.

Beane says there will be an application process for the funds, which are designated for organizations providing programming to help homeless diversion and shelter facilities. Recipients include Aurora, Inc., United Caring Services, Albion Fellows Bacon Center, House of Bread and Peace, Ozanam and YWCA.

Beane says to contact those organizations for more information on applying.

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(This story was originally published on May 24, 2020)

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