Advocacy & Awareness
National Homeless Memorial Day
In conjunction with the National Coalition for the Homeless, Aurora sponsored Evansville’s first public memorial service in 2000 to recognize individuals who have died while being homeless. The recognition is normally held on the first day of winter. Thirty-two names were collected locally dating back to 1990. Over 70 names are currently memorialized.
Advocacy & Education
Aurora has consistently taken a leadership role in advocating for homeless and near-homeless individuals, and educating the community about the needs and opportunities available to address those conditions which contribute to homelessness and poverty. Aurora staff are available to speak to community groups on homelessness, local resources, gaps and barriers in service, and/or issues of poverty from a local and national perspective. Aurora staff members also serve on a variety of community groups as representatives of the homeless and low-income population. Some of these groups include Homeless Services Council of Southwest Indiana, Early Childhood Development Coalition, Work One Partners, and the Emergency Food and Shelter Board.
Aurora staff offered to facilitate a support group for local emergency shelter and transitional housing program managers and front line staff. This group was organized in September 2000 and selected the name Helping Each other Learn Partners, Patience, Peace, and Priorities (H.E.L.P.). The goals of the group are to provide knowledge, support and encouragement to one another as we all work with the homeless population. Eleven of the currently operating 13 agencies support this group. The group furthers the commitment of Aurora to provide collaborative opportunities and to foster educational awareness of the needs of the homeless population.
Vectren Networking Group
Aurora initiated and continues to facilitate a group consisting of social service providers and Vectren Customer Service and Credit staff who look at the issues and impact of utility bills on the low-income of our community. Vectren staff have made some internal changes to help agencies assist clients with their bills. We also have open dialog about the needs of the low-income population, and we brainstorm options or services that would assist clients in their struggle to keep utility bills current.