At F.C. Tucker we talk a lot about “paying our civic rent,” so for the month of November, we would like to express our gratitude to the many organizations and individuals who serve their communities tirelessly and make Indiana a better place to live and work. We obviously can’t highlight everyone, but we would like to salute these 30 organizations that are making a difference.
30 Days of Thanksgiving – Day 13: Wheeler Mission
Wheeler Mission was founded in 1893 under the name Door of Hope. It was started by a hardware salesman, William V. Wheeler, who volunteered his time. When William Wheeler died in 1908, the organization was renamed in his honor. Throughout the years, Wheeler Mission has grown to 9 locations, dozens of ministries with a total of 140 employees. Wheeler is the largest and most diverse ministry of its kind in the state.
More about the ministry from Wheeler Mission’s Director of Marketing, Brian Crispin, “Wheeler Mission not only provides food and shelter, but we also have a variety of program, including long-term programs for people struggling with life-threatening addiction. We serve both men and women, and in order to meet the growing local needs, our ministry has not grown to include 9 separate locations, 7 of which are residential locations, and all of those location operate at or near capacity every night. We do not receive government funding, so we rely on the community for donations and volunteers.”
For men’s services, Wheeler Mission has several services. One is temporary emergency shelter. This includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, showers, clothing, chapel services, case management (with referrals to onsite and offsite social service agencies). They are also provided medical, dental, podiatry and vision services.
Men’s residential programs are also offered. These programs provide shelter, meals, and case management for men in non-addiction programs such as STEPS(Steps Toward Economic and Personal Stability), MIT (Mentors in Training), and ACTS (Advocacy, Community and Transitional Services). Long-term addiction recovery is available at either the Indianapolis or Bloomington, Indiana locations.
Emergency Shelter Services are also provided for women and women with children. This 30-day program gives women basic needs, such as meals and shelter. The program also evaluates factors that led to homelessness. The women are then encouraged to enter long-term programs that can assist with recovery and finding employment, safe housing, or mental health care.
Long-term women’s residential programs are accessible for women. These programs, such as Fresh Start (Working Guest) Program, Connect to Care Program, and Family Development Program, address the issues that led to homelessness. In addition, addiction recovery is offered to women.
According to Crispin, ”2018 is our 125th anniversary! During the entire year, we want to get the word out about the state of homelessness in terms of women and children. Our Center for Women & Children is seeing higher numbers than at any time in our history, and we are needing to step up our services to appropriately help these individuals.”