August 16, 2021

Wheeler Mission's Center for Women and Children Opens

Wheeler Mission’s new Center for Women and Children offers childcare from infants through preschool. - Provided by Wheeler Mission

Wheeler Mission’s new Center for Women and Children offers childcare from infants through preschool.

Provided by Wheeler Mission

Wheeler Mission’s new Center for Women and Children is open to offer assistance and support for women experiencing trauma and abuse. The facility is nearing completion of a $14.8 million renovation of a 100-year-old former hotel on Indianapolis’ near eastside.

Director of Family Services Bethany LaRocco said the building has a secure indoor play area and other services for children.

“In addition to four classrooms, we offer childcare from infants all the way up to preschool, and we also have a state-of-the-art indoor sensory integration room that we use to work with the clients that we serve to work on sensory integration, developmental milestones, and behavior regulation.”

The building currently has nine family units but will grow to 30 and contains laundry, bathroom, and shower facilities. The shelter will also provide access to mental health and physical services for long-term residents.

“One of the things that we find very important here at Wheeler at the Center for Women and Children is to make sure that the environment that we have for the guests that we serve feels warm and safe and inviting and it’s very trauma informed,” LaRocco said.

LaRocco said at times the center is unable to accommodate all requests for shelter, but the organization works with community partners, social service agencies, and mental health providers, to maximize available space as possible.

Contact WFYI All Things Considered newscaster and reporter Terri Dee at tdee@wfyi.org.

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