INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Homeless kids and teenagers in Indianapolis will soon have a new place to go for help.
A ground breaking ceremony was held on the city’s east side Friday for a new youth homeless shelter.
Outreach Indiana shelter officials hope the new space will allow them to offer even more help to kids in need.
“The median homeless person in Indianapolis today is an elementary school child in the Indianapolis public school system,” Mayor Joe Hogsett said.
“The truth is, the investments we make today, this ground breaking, is significant in helping us to address those problems,” Hogsett added.
For the past 20 years, Outreach Indiana has worked to provide a safe place for teenagers and young adults who find themselves with no place to call home.
“In the middle of Job Corps, I call them, tell them I want to come home, spend some time with you, and they go: oh, you can’t come back. So pretty much at the age of 18 they kicked me out and I just went through Job Corps, and when I got kicked out of Job Corps, I became homeless. I had nothing.” Eion Copper said.
For the staff and counselors, Cooper’s story isn’t unique.
“We’re serving just under 400 teens, and we’re anticipating pretty significant growth over the next few years,” Outreach Indiana CEO Eric Howard said.
From a place to take a shower and do laundry to finding jobs or just talking through life’s troubles, Outreach hopes its new $3.5 Million, 12,000-square-foot building will allow them to make an even bigger impact on the city of Indianapolis.
“They gave me a new home, they gave me a family, they helped me get my driver’s license, they helped me get my credentials, my ID, Social Security, they’ve helped me do a lot,” Daniel Mitchell said. “They’ve helped me get an apartment that I’ve had for two years now.”
“I know its hard out there, but just keep your head up and continue moving forward because you will get out of the situation. You will have a better life. Outreach is hope, and that’s just something that they’ve given me,” Mitchell added.
Outreach’s new building is scheduled to be complete in seven to eight months. They are still working to raise money to pay for construction.