Sixteen to 20-year-olds experiencing homelessness in Bloomington are losing one of the few housing options available to them.

About 200 homeless local youth have found their way in life since 2005 with help from the Stepping Stones independent living program. Sheri Benham's experiment started 17 years ago with a sound idea, an unhoused 19-year-old with a baby and a small apartment.

Stepping Stones grew from there.

But the program is reducing services this summer, eliminating one of its most crucial elements: providing secure housing. The reason? The leases are up on four eastside apartments where the young people reside, as well the one for a live-in staff member and another that serves as Stepping Stones' office.

More:County grants $1.2 million in federal funds to project combatting housing insecurity

Deer Park Property Management is not renewing the leases at College Mall Apartments on East Second Street, where Stepping Stones has been housing clients since 2005.

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