04 Oct Too many phone calls, and too few beds…
An unusual start.
My week began with a call from the Department of Child Services (DCS).
God knew I was preparing to speak to a few groups about the need to expand our Center for Women & Children, and this call proved that need. DCS had called to ask if we had room for a mom with two children. While we’ve helped several moms involved with DCS become reunified with their children, we’ve never had DCS call us first. Sadly, we had no space for this family and had to say no. The next morning, I got an email from a social worker at Riley’s Children’s Hospital asking about space for a mom and her child. This was another first, but again, we didn’t have space and had to say no.
An exploding need.
On average, we have about 700 of those calls a month, most of which are from individual women and mothers needing help. Last month, we had 935. The month before, we had over 1000. The calls all represent an urgent need, a seemingly hopeless situation, and someone desperately asking for help. We love those calls – when we can meet the need. We’re in a unique situation, being able to meet women where they are with the steadfast love of Christ, the healing truth of scripture, and the effective tools that come from best practice. But when we can’t meet the need on the other end of the phone, it’s a painful reminder that we NEED to expand!
Why should we grow?
The Center for Women & Children currently and consistently remains at capacity in both emergency shelter and long-term programming. Unfortunately, this is the same story that other shelters serving women and children in Indianapolis would share with you as well. To begin to meet that need, Wheeler is working to expand our services. The Building for Change campaign will allow us to triple our emergency shelter beds and family units and grow our long-term programs.
A rendering of the soon-to-be expanded Center for Women & Children.
We need you!
Join us in praying for this process, the women and children we serve, and those whose calls we cannot yet accommodate. Together with God, we can make a LIFE TRANFORMING difference in the lives of many!
Director of Women’s Services, Wheeler Mission