IHCDA COVID-19 update: A message from Jake

From Jake's Desk

IHCDA COVID-19 update: A message from Jake

Kokomo Mayor Tyler Moore received a letter recently from the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH), the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) to inform him that the Indiana Region 5 Planning Council has effectively ended homelessness among veterans. Region 5 is the first in Indiana to receive this distinction.

To be recognized as having achieved this goal, communities must meet the requirements laid out in the federal Criteria and Benchmarks for Ending Veteran Homelessness, which are intended to help communities drive down the number of veterans experiencing homelessness to as close to zero as possible, while building systems that support long-term, lasting solutions.

Several organizations contributed to this designation by helping the City of Kokomo to house veterans experiencing homelessness. These organizations include the Indiana Balance of State Continuum of Care, Family Service Association, the Veterans Committee-HMIS, Coordinated Entry committee, and the Veterans Administration.

COVID-19 Vaccine

Earlier this week, Indiana expanded eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine to people ages 45 and older. Other groups able to receive a vaccine in Indiana include health care workers, first responders, teachers of any age, long-term care residents and workers, and specific groups at-risk of severe illness from COVID-19 as identified by their health care provider.

The Tippecanoe County Health Department began vaccinating individuals experiencing homelessness at LTHC Homeless Services last week with the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. They were able to administer around 40 doses the first day and are planning to continue the effort this week.

The Commission on Homelessness in Evansville will provide COVID-19 vaccinations to 300 members of their region’s homeless population by the end of this week. They have partnered with the Vanderburgh County Health Department, Ascension St. Vincent Evansville, the City of Evansville, and other shelters and agencies in Southern Indiana.

I would like to thank the Commission on Homelessness and LTHC Homeless Services for working with their local heath departments and other partners to vaccinate our most vulnerable Hoosiers.

The Site Visit


I would like to share with you a new feature to my weekly note: "The Site Visit." It is simple, I will share a picture of a site that was financed by IHCDA. All you have to do is identify the name of the site, the location, and any significance it is making to the community. The first picture is to the left. You can email your responses to me at: jsipe@ihcda.in.gov.

Next week I will provide you the details on this development to see how you did. If everyone enjoys seeing these sites, I will continue sharing them with you.

Owen is 'okay'


In the winter issue of IHCDA…the Magazine we featured the Christkindlmarkt that included an ice skating rink in LaPorte. As part of this article, we included this photo (left) and several people asked us if the child falling was okay. We spoke to Carey Garwood, the project coordinator, who was able to connect with the boy’s mother. We learned that Owen is doing just fine.

We also learned that Owen is aspiring to be a professional sports mascot. One of the mascots he admires most is Nitro with the Indy Fuel. Which is part of the reason why he was so excited to learn to ice skate.

As for the man waving. That is Owen's dad. Carey told us that the family (pictured below) all had a nice laugh about this photo when they first posted it on their Facebook page. Carey was also delighted to know that there was concern about Owen’s health.

Thanks as always for your continued partnership, support, and interest in the work we are doing at IHCDA. We are #INthistogether.


J. Jacob Sipe
Executive Director

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