Vigo County homeless population dominates conversation at listening session

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A new program could help the homeless find shelter when temperatures dip below freezing or climb to uncomfortably hot levels it was just one of many topics discussed Tuesday night at a listening session. 

It was a packed house at the Vigo County Library as Commissioner Brendan Kearns held a listening session for residents.  

The big talker of the night, Vigo County’s homeless population.  

“I think tonight went really well. We were supposed to have a ten minute discussion on things that we are doing with homeless issues within the county then it ended up being an hour and ten minutes but it seemed like that’s what people wanted to hear,” Vigo County Commissioner Brendan Kearns said.   

Officials estimate there is anywhere from 300 to 400 homeless residents in Vigo County. 

Tuesday night residents got a chance to ask questions and learn more about a new county program.  

“The Red Flag, White Flag Program that we are developing basically just make a formal program so that when we have the next situation whether it be extreme heat or extreme cold, we will be able to care for these people a little better,” Kearns said.   

When the ordinance goes into place here’s how it would work, if a red flag is placed in a window of a business or shelter  homeless will be able to seek shelter from the heat and if a white flag is placed it will indicate they have a safe place to go in the snow and cold.  

Kearns hopes the red flag; white flag program will be ready and in place before winter hits.  

Also, on the minds of residents was the status of the jail. However, the commissioners didn’t really have any new information about the project. The new jail is currently in the design phase. 

The next listening session will be held August 28th. 

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