Home General News ECHO Housing Receives First Annual S.P.A.R.K Award

ECHO Housing Receives First Annual S.P.A.R.K Award


EVANSVILLE, Ind. – ECHO Housing attended the 2023 Indiana Housing Conference this
week in Indianapolis, where they received the first annual S.P.A.R.K (Serving with Partners to Achieve Real Kinesis) award. The award honors an organization that serves Hoosiers
experiencing homelessness in a way that can be described as going above and beyond. Through innovative and/or new programming that includes community partnerships to address service gaps or unique local crises and produces significant outcomes.

As the leading provider of permanent supportive housing in southwest Indiana, ECHO Housing strives to provide housing stability to numerous individuals that previously experienced homelessness. ECHO Housing is a member of a task force under the Evansville-Vanderburgh Commission on Homelessness. The task force works collaboratively to create innovative solutions to address homelessness in Evansville. Partners include the Evansville Police Department, ECHO Healthcare, Aurora Inc., Southwestern Behavioral Health, Deaconess, Ascension, United Caring Services, and the Evansville Rescue Mission.

CEO, Savannah Wood, of ECHO Housing – “We have dedicated organizations within our
community that are willing to put in the time and effort to support those experiencing
homelessness in our community. Homelessness cannot be addressed by a single organization, it takes a proactive, collective approach across multiple agencies and systems for the individual to overcome the barriers that led them down the path to housing instability. ECHO Housing received the award, but it is through collaboration that we have been successful.”

As part of ECHO Housing and community partners’ goals to provide permanent housing
placement, the task force works by conducting regular case conferencing meetings to address issues with tenants whose housing stability is in jeopardy and/or for those who are currently experiencing homelessness. This method has resulted in an annual housing placement and retention rate of 87% amongst the most vulnerable. Aside from the scheduled case conferencing sessions, ECHO Housing has a close, continued partnership with the Evansville Police Department’s Mental Health & Homeless Liaison team, who can often respond during a situation with heightened crisis and/or conflict, working alongside ECHO Housing to provide immediate support, while often preventing incarceration and/or criminal charges. The true definition of wrap-around service provision, the collaboration and outcomes that are achieved through the task force and partners’ quick response not only results in stability but affords those that are/have experienced homelessness the ability to receive an established positive support network.

Sergeant Joshua Brewer with the Evansville Police Department – “We continue to have a close partnership with ECHO Housing and the partners involved in our efforts to end homelessness in the community. It takes time, dedication, and consistency to not only house those individuals that have experienced homelessness, but to ensure they remain in their homes with the supports they need to increase their quality of life. Our homeless liaison team within the Evansville Police Department works with the agencies represented to educate and empower these individuals with the goal of reducing crime, reduce the use of emergency services and to reduce the instances of victimization amongst some of the most vulnerable in the community. ECHO Housing is proactive and collaborative in their approach to preventing a return to homelessness.”

ECHO Housing Corporation is a designated non-profit 501(c)(3) community development
corporation with a mission to create and sustain safe and affordable housing, to provide
compassionate supportive services, and to promote community and economic development
within the urban core of our community. Since its founding, ECHO Housing has been the
leading provider of permanent supportive housing for individuals experiencing homelessness in the community. ECHO has continued to grow, now encompassing five permanent supportive housing programs, all dedicated to serving those experiencing homelessness or housing instability. In 2024, ECHO will add a 6th permanent supportive housing program – the Promise Home, dedicated to serving the chronically homeless in Region 12.