Wheeler Mission laments 10-percent rise in homelessness, sets new goal to help

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By Michael Henrich

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (July 15, 2014) — The Wheeler Mission has set a new goal to help the Circle City’s homeless, while lamenting the growth in the homeless population.

The mission, which has aided Indianapolis’ homeless since 1893, has set its sights on serving more than 50,000 meals to homeless men, women and children during the next 60 days.

Steve Kerr, chief development officer with the organization, told FOX59 News the homeless population generally stands at nearly 1,900 each night, which represents a 10-percent increase over last year.

“The whole idea of the campaign is to make people aware of the fact that we don’t stop in the summer,” Kerr said. “Homelessness does not cease in the summer.  Everybody thinks of the colder months, but we still need help, the homeless still need our help in the summer.”

Last year, Kerr said the Wheeler Mission served more than 320,000 meals.

“Often the first step to a homeless person finding their way out of a homeless situation is through a hot meal, through a night’s shelter in a warm bed. That shows that there’s hope,” he said. “That’s something that most homeless people have lost, is hope. Wheeler Mission and other organizations in town provide hope to the homeless in our community.”

Anyone interested in helping can either donate money or apply to volunteer, with more details about each option available on the Wheeler Mission website, Kerr said.

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