November 21, 2019

Coburn Place Shelter Receives $1M Grant To Combat Family Homelessness

Coburn Place

Coburn Place

Indianapolis’ Coburn Place for women and children received a $1.25 million grant from a national fund targeting family homelessness Thursday.

The grant comes from the Day 1 Families Fund created by Amazon Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos.

So far, 32 organizations around the country have received grants from the fund, which awards money by invitation only based on recommendations from an advisory council on homelessness. Coburn Place is the first Indianapolis nonprofit to benefit.

Coburn Place President Julia Kathary said the funding could help the organization can reduce its current waitlist. More than 121 families are on a waitlist for the shelter’s on-campus housing. An additional 219 families are waiting to find community housing sponsored by Coburn Place. 

“Our capacity has always been under the demand,” Kathary said. “It’s been an overwhelming thing to just serve the vast numbers of survivors in our community.”

Kathary and her team hope to add new apartments to the 35 that Coburn Place currently offers from its campus on the near north side. They also plan to expand a community housing program so survivors can find a place to live before they face homelessness or return to their abusers.

“They, for varying reasons, may decide that a familiar place at home, even with the abuse, is still the best option for them at the time,” Kathary said.

While the grant offers Coburn Place a new path for future development, Kathary said there are immediate needs that need to be addressed, too. The organization can always use new volunteers and food, clothing, or furniture donations, Kathary said.

More information can be found at coburnplace.org.

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