20 Jan Do and Serve More
Winter is always an interesting time at Wheeler Mission, as it brings increasingly high numbers of men, women and children desperately seeking shelter and help.
As I write, my team is busy preparing our facilities; cooks are making hundreds of extra meals while staff lay hundreds of sleeping mats on the floor. To safely accommodate a high volume of guests, we have a carefully crafted Winter Contingency plan. But homelessness in our community has reached such a level that the plan now necessitates collaboration.
The growing numbers of men, women and children needing shelter in our community made last year’s Winter Contingency the most challenging ever. It isn’t just our rising costs that add a strain – it’s our lack of space to accommodate extra people. Wheeler just doesn’t have enough beds or floor space to meet the need.
While this is the first time in the past decade we’ve required outside facilities for overflow, I’m so thankful we’re not in this alone. I’m happy to say we’ve made arrangements with Central Christian Church (at Ft. Wayne and Delaware) to open their gymnasium for winter’s overflow. After we house all we can at our Shelter for Men, we’ll shuttle up to 50 men every night to the church so they can have a safe place to sleep.
This partnership with Central Christian Church has brought much needed help to men experiencing homelessness in Indianapolis. While the needs of our community may seem daunting, it’s collaborations like this that make me so proud to serve in Indianapolis. Together, we can do and serve more.
Thank you for your partnership.