Past Press Releases

Wheeler Mission’s Press Release Archives

 


Wheeler Mission Dedication January 21

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Homeless men will cut ribbon to new Market Street facility

 

CONTACT: Steve Kerr, Chief Development Officer

 

INDIANAPOLIS — Although the building has already been open for two weeks, Wheeler Mission will formally dedicate and cut the ribbon on its new 12,000 square foot addition to their Shelter for Men on Jan. 21 — exactly one year to the day after breaking ground.

 

At 11:30 a.m. city and state officials, donors, service providers and others will gather in Wheeler’s new facility to officially dedicate this new facility. In a gesture that demonstrates the need for this project, two homeless men who are currently receiving shelter from Wheeler will be the ones cutting the ribbon.

 

According to Wheeler’s President/CEO Rick Alvis, “These two dignitaries won’t have big job titles and weren’t able to donate anything to the fundraising efforts for this project. They are, however, the single most important people in that room. They are homeless, and they need our help. Therefore, it seems only fitting that those who cut the ribbon represent those for whom this facility was built.”

 

This new two-story addition at 520 E. Market St. adjoins the current emergency Shelter for Men. The existing shelter only has 124 permanent beds and no elevator, forcing hundreds of men throughout the year to sleep on floor mats. The kitchen, which was built to prepare a few hundred meals a day, is too small and sparsely equipped to accommodate the nearly 180,000 meals prepared annually. Guests must eat in shifts due to the insufficient space in the dining hall and sit shoulder-to-shoulder in the cramped dayroom while waiting to see a case manager.

 

With the addition of the new facility, Wheeler has relocated and modernized shower, restroom, dayroom and laundry facilities from the existing shelter, allowing for the renovation of the older building and expansion of sleeping areas to accommodate 200 permanent beds. This renovation is scheduled to begin in late spring of this year.

 

The new addition also contains an elevator with direct access to the dorms, so men with disabilities will no longer have to sleep on the floor. The new expanded dayroom will allow guests sufficient space while waiting for meals and services or simply escaping the harsh winter weather.

 

The facility was opened to the homeless two weeks early due to extreme weather conditions.

 

Founded in 1893, Wheeler Mission has been serving the Indianapolis community through a variety of programs for the most disadvantaged citizens – the poor and the homeless. Funding for these programs has always come from the private sector as Wheeler does not receive government funds. Proceeds from the Drumstick Dash helped Wheeler serve more than 302,000 meals and provide nearly 128,000 nights lodging in 2014.


Wheeler Mission Opening New Shelter Jan. 6

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Market Street addition debuts early for winter storm

 

CONTACT: Steve Kerr, Chief Development Officer

 

INDIANAPOLIS — After nearly three years of praying, planning, fundraising and building, Wheeler Mission is excited and proud to open the doors of the new men’s facility tomorrow.

 

The shelter received approval from the building inspector just hours ago and, given the freezing temperatures and snow forecast, Wheeler officials decided to open its doors as soon as possible and allow homeless men immediate access to the new facility.

 

Therefore, at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 6, Wheeler Mission President/CEO Rick Alvis will unlock the doors and invite guests in.

 

“Our homeless citizens are impacted by harsh weather more than anyone else in the community,” Alvis said. “Getting them out of the cold can literally mean life or death.”

 

This new two-story, 12,000 square foot addition at 520 E. Market St. adjoins the current Emergency Shelter for Men. The existing shelter only has 124 permanent beds and no elevator, forcing hundreds of men throughout the year to sleep on thin floor mats. The kitchen, which was built to prepare a few hundred meals a day, is too small and sparsely equipped to accommodate the nearly 180,000 meals prepared annually. Guests must eat in shifts due to the insufficient space in our dining hall and sit shoulder-to-shoulder in the cramped dayroom while waiting to see a case manager.

 

With the addition of the new facility, Wheeler will relocate and modernize shower, restroom and laundry facilities from the existing shelter, allowing them to renovate the older building and expand sleeping areas to accommodate 200 permanent beds. This new addition also contains an elevator with direct access to the dorms so men with disabilities will no longer have to sleep on the floor. The new, expanded dayroom will allow guests sufficient space while waiting for meals and services, or simply escaping the harsh winter weather.

 

A formal dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony is planned for Jan. 21.

Founded in 1893, Wheeler Mission has been serving the Indianapolis community through a variety of programs for the most disadvantaged citizens – the poor and the homeless. Funding for these programs has always come from the private sector as Wheeler does not receive government funds.


Wheeler Mission to Dedicate Eastside Landmark

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Facility Reopened to Serve Homeless Women and Children

 

CONTACT: Steve Kerr, Chief Development Officer

 

WHEN:    Friday, August 21, 2009 – 10:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  (brief program at 11:00)

 

WHERE:  3208 E. Michigan Street

 

In a continued effort to focus on their core values of serving the homeless, Wheeler Mission is re-opening their eastside facility.  The new Center for Women & Children will be a safe harbor for the fastest growing segments of the homeless population, women and children.

 

Built in the 1920s by the Ku Klux Klan as a social club and later sold and renamed the Dearborn Hotel, the facility at 3208 E. Michigan Street was purchased by Wheeler in 1991.  Following a complete renovation the building was opened in 1994 as a community center serving the near eastside.  In 2008 Wheeler made the difficult decision to close the facility and focus on the issues surrounding homelessness.

 

Faced with increased demand for services to homeless women and children and a worn out facility, Wheeler’s Board of Directors decided to relocate from the old Care Center on Rural Street to the now vacant building.

 

Renamed Wheeler Mission’s Center for Women & Children (ampersand intentional) the building is being dedicated to the service of homeless women and children.

 

“Today’s dedication of this facility is a result of many, many prayers and two attempts to relocate.  The women and children Wheeler serves deserve a clean, safe place where they can find the help they need – this building will accomplish just that.” said Rick Alvis, President/CEO of Wheeler Mission.

 

Wheeler’s Chairman of the Board, Rob Wingerter recalls back in 1994 when the building was opened; “We spoke about original builders of this building, the KKK, and that what was once used as a gathering place for hatred and bigotry we were dedicating for use for the glory of God and service to all people.  The same holds true today, we are rededicating this building to the glory of God and service to all people.”

 

Photo/Interview Opportunities:

  • Mayor Ballard (11:00 a.m.)
  • Paulette Moore, Center for Women & Children Director
  • Rick Alvis, President/CEO
  • Rob Wingerter, Chairman of the Board
  • Lisa Cummings, CWC client