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Jake’s Place hoping to provide housing to at-risk youth in Indianapolis

Posted at 6:39 PM, Feb 08, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-08 18:47:17-05

INDIANAPOLIS — Youth violence has reached an all-time high in Indianapolis and unstable housing has a big part of that.

“We have a lot of kids that are abandoned by parents,” Kia Wright, Founder of Voices, said. “After they've had so many run ins with law enforcement, parents are really tired and frustrated.”

Voices is an Indianapolis-based organization that looks to empower struggling youth to enhance their life.

“They need love, they need attention. They need to be affirmed in who they are. There's a huge narrative out there about young people that I'm trying to change,” Wright added.

Voices leadership team meets outside of Jake's Place

Wright and her organization helped create Jake’s Place.

The west side apartment complex aims to provide young adults with housing and assistance, but also teach them how to live independently.

“We're trying to help them be successful,” Damon Mills, Voices Director of Emergency Shelters & Housing, said.

Mills says the young adults have to enroll in a program with Voices to obtain housing at Jake's Place.

"They have to go through financial literacy classes, case management and community service," Mills said. "The thing is, we want these kids leaving better than when they came in."

Living room in Jake's Place apartment

The first resident has already picked out his room and is hoping the program can take to him to new heights.

“I want to take the high road,” explained 18-year-old Jamarion Markham. "I’ve never taken the high road before, and they have, so I’m hoping to learn from them.”

For more information on the organization, click here.