Indianapolis News and HeadlinesIndianapolis Local News


Free youth center opening on Indy's Eastside to help curb violence

Two faith-based organizations Vagabond Missions and Jack Shockley Warriors For Peace helping open center
Screen Shot 2024-02-27 at 9.55.24 PM.png
Posted at 10:53 PM, Feb 27, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-28 11:22:04-05

INDIANAPOLIS — A new free youth center will soon be open on Indy’s Eastside, providing a safe space for teens to grow and learn, all in an effort to curb violence while getting teens on the right path.

Two faith-based organizations, Vagabond Missions and Jack Shockley Warriors for Peace, are working together to make it happen.

19-year-old Egypt Moorehead has been with Vagabond Missions for more than a year.

The new mother, who’s struggled with depression, says she's felt the impact of the organization for herself and her siblings.

Vagabond Missions serving Indy teens

"We went through a lot with our parents and domestic violence,” she explained. "It was nice seeing them [my siblings] happy for once."

The national organization helps struggling teens find a better path through faith.

“Young people need a safe place and options and people that are listening to them and believing in them and really empowering them to make choices and really get out of some of this generational trauma,” said Catherine Ord the Area Director of Vagabond Missions in Indianapolis.

The organization currently operates out of St. Philip Neri, but now they’re working to get to open a permanent location for their youth center on the east side.

"We have this Underground and it's a free youth center for all high school youth, it's right next to Arsenal Tech High School so literally when they get out of school they can walk by our building,” said Ord.

A building that will give teens access to faith, mentors, laundry, food, and most importantly peace of mind right in their own neighborhood.

“It will be easier for teens to like know they always have a place to come to if they don’t want to go home,” said Egypt’s younger sister A’mari who lives on the east side.

The safe space is coming together with the help of a $25,000 donation from Jack Shockley Warriors for Peace, another faith-based non-profit started by co-chairs Steve and Cheryl Shockley.

Jack Shockley Warriors for Peace working with local organizations to end violence

The Shockley's lost their own son, Jack, to senseless gun violence at the hands of a young person back in 2020.

In honor of their son's memory, their organization works to help teens by promoting peace and supporting other organizations working to curb violence.

Screen Shot 2024-02-27 at 9.55.24 PM.png
Jack Shockley Warriors for Peace started in honor of Jack Shockley

“The problem is they end up being victims so it’s this cycle, perpetrator, violent, victim. So, we’re trying to interrupt that,” said Cheryl.

“It’s the chance for us to support an organization that is boots on the ground working with kids who deserve to have help,” added Steve.

Deserving kids like A’mari and Egypt, who are excited for the new center to expand that positive push.

“We finally have our own building so you can pop by anytime if anyone is here. I feel like that’s very important because not only is it close in location, but it’s gets you closer toward God in your heart knowing that there are people here for you,” said Egypt.

With the help of other businesses in the community, Vagabond Missions plans to open doors to its new center Underground at 1701 East Michigan street by this June.

To learn more about Vagabond Missions click here.

To learn more information about Jack Shockley Warriors For Peace click here.