People of Housing Security:
Bloomington Housing Authority’s housing stability coordinator enjoys seeing clients thrive
Jessica Craig works as the housing stability coordinator for the Bloomington Housing Authority. BHA provides housing assistance to thousands of low-income households each year. The agency operates housing complexes in three Bloomington neighborhoods – Crestmont, Reverend Butler and Walnut Woods – and administers a housing voucher program, among many other services.
Prior to joining BHA, Jessica gained experience through other work in housing and social services. She started off working with adults with disabilities and managed a group home. After seeing her friend’s involvement at Beacon’s Shalom Center, Jessica decided to join Beacon’s Rapid Rehousing program and ended up working there for three years.
Jessica wanted to have the opportunity to speak directly with clients each day, so she became a housing case manager at Beacon. She said this position was significant in expanding her knowledge about housing insecurity and all the resources that are available. After that, Jessica worked at Centerstone in the youth transitional housing program, serving as an outreach case manager. Jessica also worked in outpatient services for the Indiana Center for Recovery before recently joining the Bloomington Housing Authority.
As BHA’s housing stability coordinator, Jessica’s biggest project right now is launching a Landlord Risk Mitigation Fund (LRMF). This program is a formal partnership between BHA, landlords, and community members seeking housing. The LRMF will provide financial reimbursement of up to $2,000 per household to cover the cost of lost rent or damages beyond the amount of the security deposit after the end of a tenancy.
As part of structuring this program from the ground up, Jessica has been doing a lot of research on similar programs to see what things are working or aren’t working. The Landlord Risk Mitigation Fund was launched in early 2023.
“There is no magic wand to move someone into housing. It takes time and a lot of resources.”
– Jessica Craig
Jessica said she’s fortunate because her job doesn’t bring many difficult days. But for those who are looking for motivation on their harder days, Jessica suggests remembering the “little moments and success stories.” She has had the opportunity to work with many individuals in the Bloomington area and always enjoys running into clients she has worked with who are still doing well after receiving services. “Housing allows integration into a community,” Jessica said, so she is happy to see clients truly be able to thrive in their community after obtaining housing again.
We asked Jessica, as someone who has experience working with people in all different types of housing insecurity, what she wished people understood about it. “There is no magic wand to move someone into housing,” she replied. “It takes time and a lot of resources.”
She added this insight: “No one is immune to homelessness.” It can impact any of us.
About the People of Housing Security: This series highlights the work of those committed to improving the lives of residents in South Central Indiana. Find all the articles in this series here.