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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - If not for a friend, Abdeladi Ibratam would be living on the streets.
He arrived in Fort Wayne after suffering a stroke that weakened his left leg and hand.
"I'm a stroke survivor. I got a stroke last year, so a friend of mine sent me a ticket abroad and brought me here, so I came here during six months in 2018. I have my medication and everything like that," he said.
United Way 211 received over 3,000 calls from homeless families needing assistance last year.
While the U.S Department of Housing and Development said homelessness here declined 3.3%, Fort Wayne Housing Authority said we still have a long way to go.
That's where the River's Edge development comes in. Fort Wayne Housing Authority broke ground on the new Spy Run Avenue facility that will offer 56 units for people in desperate need of housing.
"We've got a lot of people that are still couch surfing that are still in that transitional phase, so it's going to be huge," CEO of Fort Wayne Housing Authority George Guy said.
Jessica Berzac with Upholdings Real Estate Firm said there's three levels of homelessness people can fall into. River's Edge is going to help people get on their feet through numerous local resources and referrals.
"We're going to work with three broken down groups, so those we would identify as chronically homeless, those who are considered frequent users of emergency systems as a term we call FUSE. That means partnering with the shelters,hospitals, to figure out who is in those emergency rooms most often, and helping to make sure they have stable housing. The third group is of people at risk for homelessness because of a medical vulnerability," Berzac said.
The Fort Wayne Housing Authority hopes to have the ribbon cutting for the new facility a year from now.