Biggs Property Management announces new foster care housing project

Vacant for more than 20 years, a former clinic building on the south side of Fort Wayne will be demolished to make way for housing that targets young adults formally in the foster care system.

“The Courtyard” will be the first supportive housing project in Indiana for youths formally in foster care. The former Duemling Clinic at 2828 Fairfield Ave. in Fort Wayne, which will be demolished, will provide a variety of services to assist residents 18-25 years old in establishing a lifestyle of work, recreation and community, with 36 apartments. Community leaders, neighbors and project partners gathered on Tuesday to celebrate the groundbreaking ceremony, as well as initial demolition.

According to SAFY (Specialized Alternatives for Families and Youth), a key partner in the project, 36 percent of foster youth become homeless within 18 months of aging out of foster care, because of high housing costs and employment challenges. And, 40 percent of the current homeless population was in foster care at one point or another in their youth.

Supportive services available to residents living in “The Courtyard” will be managed by SAFY in partnership with Park Center Community Mental Health, and other community providers that offer specialized assistance. Services available on-site will include counseling, assistance in obtaining a GED or high school diploma, employment and life coaching for work and well-being, as well as accessing post-secondary education opportunities. On-site amenities at “The Courtyard” will include a commercial teaching kitchen, exercise room, arts and crafts room and an urban garden.

Project partners include:

Biggs Development LLC – Developer
Ideal Suburban Homes – General Contractor
Dodd Kattman of Morrison Kattman Menze, Inc. - Architect
Neighborhood Development Associates – Consultant
Biggs Property Management – Property Manager
PAPA Neighborhood Association - Representing all seven area neighborhoods
Tower Bank
Great Lakes Capital Fund
Federal Home Loan Bank of Indianapolis

A variety of government and private sources will fund this project, including rental housing tax credits awarded from the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority, TCAP and Community Development Block Grant funds. The City of Fort Wayne provided funds from the Neighborhood Stabilization Program.

The Corporation for Supportive Housing provided pre-development financing. The Indianapolis Federal Home Loan Bank provided a $500,000 AHP grant through Tower Bank, an FHLB member. Great Lakes Capital Fund recently announced its $6 million investment in the project. A variety of local foundations, including The Lutheran Foundation and the Mary Cross Tippmann Foundation will provide support. Rental assistance will be provided by the Fort Wayne Housing Authority.

TOP PHOTO - Kevan Biggs of Ideal Surbabn Homes, addresses the crowd at Tuesday's grounbreaking ceremony.

BOTTOM PHOTO - The former Duemling Clinic as it looks today, will be demolished for "The Courtyard."

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