Indianapolis activated its plan to give more help to people experiencing homelessness during the pandemic.
The city allocated $5 million in CARES Act funding to help coordinate the annual Winter Contingency Plan. The plan provides financial support to Wheeler Mission and the Coalition for Homelessness Intervention and Prevention, CHIP, to expand services with COVID-19 restrictions still in place.
"The pandemic isn’t going away and neither will our coordinated response to provide resources and services for individuals and families experiencing homelessness,” Hogsett said in a written statement.
Most of the funding will go to continue providing hotel rooms for people seeking shelter. The non-congregate shelter option allows other facilities to comply with social distancing guidelines that reduce capacity. Once space at Wheeler’s men and women shelters are full, people will be referred to overflow locations including hotel rooms. The funding will also help provide meals for people this winter.
The plan runs from November through March.
Men: Men seeking shelter will check in at Wheeler’s Shelter for Men at 520 E. Market St., Indianapolis. Once those 250 beds are filled, males will be referred to the Men’s Residential Center at 245 N. Delaware St., Indianapolis. During the months of Nov. – March, the MRC can accommodate up to 60 men for overflow services. When capacity is met at both facilities, males will be assigned to one of approximately 100 rooms at a contracted hotel.
Women and families: Women and families seeking shelter should call Wheeler’s Center for Women and Children (CWC) at 317-687-3630. All permanent beds at the CWC will be filled first, and women and families will be referred to one of 175 rooms at a contracted hotel. This hotel is specifically serving single women and families to ensure family members can be sheltered together, including single men with children, couples with children, or single women with children.