Outreach opens new 12,000 square foot facility to tackle teen homelessness

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.-- For the fifth time, Outreach, Inc. has opened a new facility to help young homeless people. The organization celebrated the opening of a new program center Monday morning with a open house and ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The new building, located at 2416 East New York Street, is close to four times bigger than its last location.

“The new facility will better enable Outreach to serve homeless young people and address their immediate needs. The space was created to communicate worth, value, and that individuals are seen and known” said Eric Howard, Outreach CEO and Founder, who started the non-profit out of his car.

Since 1996, Outreach has been tackling the growing problem of homeless and at-risk youth in Indianapolis. The organization has moved five times due to the growing need of youth needing services.

The new Program Center will allow Outreach to serve their youth with computer training classes, cooking classes, laundry facility, allowing organizations like Adult and Child and Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic to have their own space to meet with the youth and more.

“This is pretty amazing," said Howard. "I’m really humbled by God’s faithfulness to what he has provided for homeless young people in the Indianapolis community. We’ve been able to enhance our services of food preparation to laundry facilities, showers, restrooms, donation storage and clothing pantry. Also, we can provide mental health services to those who are coming through our doors and advocacy in regards to legal concerns or barriers they might have. It’s a chance for a homeless young person to come in be known, be seen, be valued and move forward in their life.”

The size of the new facility will allow Outreach to hold group classes, such as cooking, for teens looking for work.

The goal of the Program Center is to be a catalyst for future Outreach locations and eventually provide housing for the teens affected by homelessness.
The building has become a reality thanks to our donors. The $3.3 Million facility was paid for by a Lilly Endowment of $800,000. The rest of the funds for the building comes from donors. Outreach is still $265,000 shy of its goal.

According to the Coalition For Homelessness Intervention & Prevention, Indianapolis' point-in-time count in January of 2015 revealed that 7.7 percent of the city's homeless population was made up of unattached homeless youth. Records from the Indianapolis Homeless Management Information System showed 106 youth between 13 and 17 and 1,100 unattached homeless young adults between 18 and 24 were homeless at some point in 2015.