Wheeler Mission Expecting Record Numbers Due to Cold Temps
The central Indiana forecast includes overnight temperatures that would be the lowest in two years. That prompts the Wheeler Mission in downtown Indianapolis to prepare for record numbers of men, women and children seeking shelter.
"We're expecting numbers that we haven't seen since the Great Depression," said Steve Kerr, Chief Development Officer, Wheeler Mission Ministries.
Kerr expects the shelter on Delaware Street to full. That's 377 beds filled with about 150 men, women and children left with no place to go.
And that's where the Winter Contingency Plan kicks in. Wheeler manages that plan--the city's response to overflow in the Indianapolis homeless shelters.
"We stand prepared to open extra facilities to sleep men and women on the floor or wherever we can," said Kerr. "Just so they're indoors and safe."
You can help. Kerr suggests donations of cash, food or items the homeless can use in extreme cold--like gloves, hats, scarves and bottled water. He warns against giving money to a homeless person. If that person uses your money for alcohol or drugs, it could inhibit his or her ability to feel the cold. That could lead to hypothermia, frostbite or even death.
For further information, you can call Wheeler at 635-3575 or visit www.wheelermission.org.