Wheeler Mission broke ground Wednesday to mark the start of construction on its expanded Center for Women & Children.
The facility will be built on the northwest corner of East Michigan and North LaSalle streets, next to Wheeler’s existing 10-story building.
Vice President of Advancement, Steve Kerr says they receive more than 700 requests for beds every month that cannot be accommodated in the current center. But more than $8 million has been raised toward its $13 million Building for Change capital campaign. And that will allow for more space.
“This will triple our capacity to service homeless women and children so what we are going to expand to is 168 beds which is desperately needed and very exciting for us,” Kerr says.
Additional staff will also be hired and there will be a 50 percent increase in programming, including job training and addiction recovery.
Kerr says financial support has been tremendous.
“We are really thrilled that Lilly Endowment came through with a $3 million commitment to this campaign. On top of that was an additional $1 million that we could use in a matching challenge to our donors,” he says
There was also a $1 million donation from the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust and $9 million in New Market Tax Credit allocations from the City of Indianapolis.
Construction is expected to take 16 to 18 months.