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Wheeler Mission in need of mask donations as demand for shelter increases

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Posted at 1:04 PM, Oct 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-29 14:01:20-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Wheeler Mission is in need of face masks as the temperature drops and number of people seeking shelter rises.

A tweet sent Wednesday night from Wheeler Mission's official Twitter account said the shelter was out of disposable face masks for residents and guests.

Wheeler Mission's executive vice president for advancement Steve Kerr said Thursday that the shelter has already received a number of face mask donations and added he is thankful for "the outpouring of kindness to Wheeler." Mask donations can be delivered to Wheeler Mission's administration building at 205 E. New York St.

Kerr said Wheeler Mission's busiest shelter on Market Street, which currently houses 316 men, goes through about 200 masks a day and the need is ongoing.

The services Wheeler Mission plans to offer this winter for the city's homeless population, which reached 15,000 in July, will look different due to the pandemic and social distancing.

"We just cannot have safely in our facilities the numbers we've usually had in the past, so we're working very closely with the City of Indianapolis," he said.

Kerr said the city is securing two hotels, one for men and another for women, that will help get people out of the cold.

"That's going to be a massive help this year because of the pandemic," Kerr said.