In a city that does not have a city-run shelter, the mission's Center for Women & Children receives more than seven hundred requests for beds each month that it cannot accommodate. The expanded center will include a hundred and sixty-four additional permanent beds (forty emergency shelter beds, forty long-term shelter beds, and eighty-four family shelter beds), more than doubling its current capacity. The grant also will help expand the center's on-site medical and mental health clinics and provide funding for additional staff, education and social service programming, and updated family-friendly features such as a day room, a childcare area, redesigned dining areas, and an indoor play space.
The Lilly Endowment has pledged up to an additional $1 million to match gifts to the mission's $12 million Building for Change capital campaign. To date, a total of $7.4 million has been raised.
"We are extremely grateful to Lilly Endowment for its contribution to our Center for Women & Children. Once transformed, this facility will provide much-needed services to homeless women and children in Indianapolis," said Wheeler Mission president and CEO Rick Alvis. "However, our work is not over. The fundraising process will continue because the need will continue. I want to remind the community that we must come together to change the trajectory of homelessness in Indianapolis forever."
(Image credit: Wheeler Mission)