34 North Gives Victims New Direction
34 North: the name sounded like a trendy restaurant or condo complex when I first heard it. It's actually the name of a new apartment complex on Meridian Street, a transitional housing facility for The Julian Center. This facility provides a safe and supportive housing community for domestic violence victims as they re-establish themselves and is an affordable housing option for community members.
Last Thursday, I went to the 34 North grand opening and was blown away with the quality of the facility and the significance it has for domestic violence victims and their families. 34 North includes 71 units ranging from studios to 1, 2, 3 and 4 bedroom units throughout two buildings: one new construction, and The Vernon, a renovated historic building. The units include bright and open kitchens with new energy efficient appliances, up-to-date bathrooms, and ample closet space. Laundry is accessible through laundry hookups in many units and a centralized facility for other units. 34 North also offers a fitness center, off-street parking, a playground, secured entrances, a community room with a flat-screen television and library, and free membership to The Children's Museum of Indianapolis.
Rent is calculated based on the number of people in the unit divided by the gross annual income for the individual or family, with 30%, 40%, 50%, 60% and Market rates. Many units at certain levels are reserved for Julian Center clients; these units, called "supportive housing units," provide clients case management, referrals to other service providers, drug and alcohol assessments, food pantry and Thrifty Threads vouchers, access to counseling and legal services at The Julian Center, and participation in the self-sufficiency program. The self-sufficiency program links community volunteers to clients, mentoring them as they transition out of poverty, as well as providing small support groups to discuss financial issues.
Security is important at 34 North. The property management firm, Herman & Kittle, conducts a background check on each potential resident. Unless the prospective resident is a client of The Julian Center, no one with a violent criminal charge, such as assault, will be approved. Residents with drug convictions will be required to participate in an addictions group. There is also a Julian Center caseworker whose office will be on-site; she will work with the management firm and staff to ensure every resident is in compliance.
34 North helps fill a critical need for services to domestic violence victims in central Indiana. I look forward to hearing the stories of success as women and their families gain self-sufficiency, and to continuing to extend services to this vulnerable population in our community. Domestic violence is one of the priority funding areas for Women's Fund, so I am glad we are part of the solution, helping create options and opportunities for victims and our community.
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