New kiosks set up across Indiana to connect people facing eviction with legal services
New kiosks are now in place statewide to help Hoosiers facing eviction with legal resources and services.
The 120 kiosks provide a way to easily access IndianaLegalHelp.org and other resources.
Indiana Bar Foundation President and CEO Charles Dunlap said the kiosks will initially focus on serving Hoosiers facing eviction or housing instability and will expand to include other legal topics next year.
“We're able to do this project because of the emergency rental assistance dollars that have been put out by the federal government. But again, after the first six months, it'll be open to a lot of other civil legal aid, information and needs that a lot of people have,” Dunlap said.
As of Oct. 17, 77,000 Indiana renters – about 12 percent – were behind on their payments, according to the National Equity Atlas. Most had not applied for assistance. The kiosks will allow people to connect with a remote legal housing navigator, access legal information and resources, and apply for rental assistance.
The kiosks, which include a printer and scanner for documents, were designed to be reliable, accessible and easy to use.
“So, we've had a lot of user testing, user focus groups and development to make sure that it is user-friendly. And we think that it is and these new enhancements that are coming out right now as well with a new kiosk deployment, is also going to be addressing the area of accessibility from visual impairment issues and other handicapped-accessible features as well, “ Dunlap said.
All 92 counties will have at least one kiosk host site, and some counties have requested additional kiosks if more funding becomes available.
Organizations like courts, libraries, shelters for survivors of domestic violence and others who serve those facing housing insecurity are eligible to request to host a kiosk.
The Indiana Legal Help website will have an interactive map that shows where the kiosks are located.