The nonprofit health plan provides relief and advocates for at-risk communities
(INDIANAPOLIS, IND. – June 18, 2020) As a nationally recognized health plan, CareSource recognizes affordable housing affects all facets of health, both on an individual and community level. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization intends to maintain and even expand the goals of the housing program for Indiana. The public health crisis highlights how caring for the most vulnerable populations is so critical.
“At CareSource, we look to assist in creating the best opportunities for our members that may be searching for affordable housing,” said Amy Riegel, Director of Housing at CareSource. “Because of the pandemic, we are intensifying our commitment to growing the program because we know that as housing resources improve, health outcomes also improve.”
As a result of this commitment, CareSource joined 33 other organizations in asking senators and representatives to address housing instability in the next coronavirus relief package. Dubbed the Emergency Rental Assistance and Rental Market Stabilization Act, the $100 billion rental relief fund would be a tremendous support to prevent individuals from falling into deeper housing instability.
Disasters and major crisis situations often magnify economic inequalities. This is certainly the case with the COVID-19 pandemic, as our nation’s economic situation has changed drastically. It has impacted Hoosiers and their ability to find and afford safe housing, as many residents may not be able to afford rent right now.
CareSource suggests residents make a plan of action to get in front of the situation as much as possible.
“We are looking to send a clear message for everyone to use this time to try and mitigate any issues in an effort to prevent falling behind on payments,” added Riegel. “If someone can’t pay rent, they need to talk to their landlord today instead of putting it off. Additionally, counties and social service agencies across Indiana offer various types of relief and emergency assistance. Hopefully, these efforts will keep people from falling into a deeper housing hole and creating greater housing instability.”
Additionally, CareSource has been working with homeless shelters in Indiana. Without a safe place to quarantine, the homeless population is especially vulnerable to a COVID-19 outbreak. CareSource has been working with safe-recovery sites across the state, where patients who are homeless can safely isolate and quarantine, successfully avoiding outbreaks in homeless shelters. CareSource has also worked with local shelters to create hygiene kits for individuals experiencing homelessness, complete with masks and gloves to then be donated to local homeless partners and distributed.