INDIANAPOLIS – A local homeless outreach organization is working to expand access and reduce barriers to mental healthcare.

The organization, 91 Place, is on the near east side of Indianapolis. The group provides support for people impacted by chronic homelessness or generational poverty, particularly minors. It also provides housing for youth impact by homelessness.

“The idea of 91 Place is that we have authentic relationships at our core,” said Karynn Adamowicz. “So providing roof overhead is not enough. These kids need to be supported and experience unconditional love.”

The organization had one home for local minors who are homeless but has since opened a second one thanks to a grant from the city’s violence reduction program. The grant has also allowed the organization to open up a brand-new therapy center.

The new mental health center is also located on the near east side, not far from the homes. The site is called “The Haven.”

“Ultimately our goal with The Haven is to provide mental health services not only for our youth, but also the community around us,” Adamowicz said. “Mental health services are very limited on the near east side of Indianapolis, so we want to be able to extend our services and provide continuity of care to people that live and work in this area.”.

Some of the group’s partner organizations used census data and found about 7,800 minors in Indianapolis experience homelessness.

Residents have been able to receive care at The Haven for a few months now, but now 91 Place is hosting a grand opening event on Thursday to help spread awareness.

“With our grand opening, we want to just build an awareness of the need of mental health services in this area,” Adamowicz said.

For now, only residents can receive care from therapists at The Haven, but the organization hopes to hire additional therapists to help expand access more broadly.

In the meantime, 91 Place does have some new therapeutic technology at The Haven that is available to everyone. It is called bio-sound technology, a reclining couch-like tool that combines comfort and sound to help address mental health.

“The bio-sound technology helps to reduce anxiety, anger and can help people that are battling addiction and it helps to take people out of a fight or flight state and calm them almost instantly,” Adamowicz said.

She said there are only three in the state of Indiana right now, including one in Fishers and one at Ball State University that is being used for studies.

91 Place is also looking to open a workforce development coffee shop for its residents as well. The group hopes its recent efforts help better address some crucial issues and needs in the area.