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Cold weather highlights need for more shelter space

Posted at 6:29 PM, Jan 28, 2019

INDIANAPOLIS — The Wheeler Mission's Center for Women and Children is overflowing.

On a recent night, 76 people were shoehorned inside a facility that only has beds for 22.

The rest had to sleep on the floor or go to the nearby Cornerstone Lutheran Church, which was just approved as a shelter when Wheeler is full.

With temperatures at zero or below this week, the demand will only grow at the East Michigan Street shelter.

More room is needed and there are expansion plans, according to Allison Melangton, Chairwoman of the Wheeler Mission Capital Campaign.

"$12 million is the need. We've already raised 3.5 million. Once we raise 8 to 12 million we can start building it, and it's going to be another 18 months to build it. Time is of the essence. Every day that we don't get the facility expanded is every day more women and children are on the streets," said Melangton.

Meanwhile, Wheeler staff will operate the overflow site at the church until at least March.

If you want to donate to he Wheeler building fund, information is available at: www.wheelermission.org

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