‘They get to run around and play’: New Wheeler Mission overflow shelter ‘blessing’ for children

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- A series of wintry weekends is pushing Wheeler Mission past their limits at their shelter for women and children, but help is on the way.

The Indianapolis Fire Department gave the green light on an overflow shelter at Cornerstone Lutheran Church. Several families have moved into the space, which is freeing up floor space at the main building.  This weekend, there 97 people at the lead complex with only 22 beds.

"It's hard to talk to a mom or single woman about hope when she’s sleeping on the floor," Wheeler Mission Chief Development Officer Steve Kerr said.

Kerr said Wheeler Mission is seeing 30% more women in children compared to this same time last year.  He has a few guesses as to why?

“Domestic violence and unfortunately the opioid addiction crisis," Kerr said.

This new space gives kids the chance to be a kid, and mom's a much needed break.

“They get to run around and play out their energy," one mom said who asked to remain anonymous, "It's hard trying to confine kids.”

With the new space comes a need for volunteers, especially people who can stay overnight.  If you want to help out, you can sign up to volunteer on Wheeler Mission's website.

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