INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — This summer’s blistering heat is putting the pressure on local homeless shelters. As the mercury rises, so do the number of people trying to seek shelter from the streets.
On Friday night, Wheeler Mission Women and Children’s Shelter will have 12 people sleeping in their gym, including one large family.
“There’s a humongous need, and just not enough space,” Shelter Director Bethany Nelson said.
The shelter is in the process of launching a fundraising campaign to expand. Around downtown Indianapolis, you will find ads on the sidewalks portraying families sleeping on the street. It’s to promote awareness before fundraising begins in October.
“Statistically, numbers continue to go up in terms of people who are experiencing homelessness in Indianapolis,” Nelson said. “I think if you’ve looked around, the number has not decreased.”
Carrie Hicks has been living at shelter for three years, and credits them for helping to turn her life around.
“My son wouldn’t have a mom if it wasn’t for this place,” Hicks said.
She found herself on the street, and was trying to be a good mom, but was fighting addiction. She said she met the wrong people, and was occasionally beat up.
“I was scared when I got here. I had never been homeless,” Hicks said.
Now she is on the right path, and taking courses toward recovery. She admits to noticing the shelter is becoming full.
Nelson estimated it may take roughly $12 million to expand the facility. The current plans will more than double their capacity, and bring thirty private apartments for families.
If you want to help, or donate, you can head to their website.