INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana’s statewide community resource referral agency, Indiana 211, is now part of the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, making it easier to get the resources you need, and soon to include help in recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The state also announced that its Rental Assistance Portal will be available beginning Monday to provide renters affected by COVID-19 with a variety of resources if they apply.

Putting Indiana 211 under the FSSA, a change approved by the General Assembly earlier this year, will make it easier for Hoosiers to navigate the significant amount of state and community services available to support their health and well-being, according to Gov. Eric Holcomb.

“By connecting the resources of FSSA with the versatility of Indiana 211, we can offer Hoosiers great government service,” he said. “We will connect them with what they need, when they need it with this 24 hours a day, seven days a week hotline.”

Indiana 211 is a free service that connects Hoosiers with assistance and answers from thousands of health and human service resources – quickly, easily and confidentially, the governor said.

Indiana 211 and FSSA will provide a one-stop shop for community and state services, according to Dr. Jennifer Sullivan, FSSA secretary.

“When they dial 211, Hoosiers are connected to an experienced, responsive and compassionate team of community navigators who are skilled at identifying needs and providing referrals that best meet those needs,” she said.

“Along with Governor Holcomb and the Indiana General Assembly, Indiana’s United Ways and the Indiana 211 Partnership have been great partners in making this vision become a reality.

“It is the ultimate goal of all involved to support Hoosiers’ overall health and well-being. They need a simple front door to walk through to receive any service or program we offer without delay – and if we don’t offer it, a way to be connected to it.”

Indiana 211 and FSSA already have a history of joint success, through programs such as the partnership with OpenBeds, which has connected more than 1,400 Hoosiers with drug treatment and community services, Sullivan said.

The organizations have also partnered on operating suicide prevention and Adult Protective Services hotlines, and will be introducing new services related to helping Hoosiers recover from the COVID-19 pandemic in the near future.

The Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority announced that the Rental Assistance Portal will be available beginning Monday at 8 a.m. indiana housingnow.org.

“The application portal is designed to help Indiana renters adversely affected by COVID-19 avoid eviction by connecting them with programs that can help them cover monthly rent payments or past due rent,” Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch, board chair of IHCDA, said.

Last month, Holcomb announced $25 million in relief for renters through the COVID-19 Rental Assistance Program. This, combined with other funding sources including the Emergency Solutions Grant, will provide renters affected by COVID-19 with a variety of resources.

“It is important that all Hoosiers have equal access to the rental assistance that is available,” said Jacob Sipe, executive director of IHCDA.

“We are thankful for a wide variety of local, community and not-for-profit organizations who are assisting us in communicating information about the Rental Assistance Portal throughout the state.”

Homeowners in need of assistance paying their mortgage payment should visit 877gethope.org.

Hoosiers who are homeless, in a housing crisis, or in need of immediate assistance should call 211 and ask to connect with a navigator.

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