Irsay family contributes to Wheeler Mission campaign to expand Center for Women and Children

As the rate of homelessness continues to rise in central Indiana, women and children make up the fastest growing homeless population.

The Irsay family and the Colts are helping Wheeler Mission accommodate that growing demand and helping it expand beyond providing a safe place to sleep.

“On behalf of my family and the entire Colts organization we are just so happy to be a part of this,” Colts Vice Chair & Owner Kalen Irsay Jackson said of the $100,000 donation to expand Wheeler’s Center for Women and Children.

“It’s awesome to have their support and the name of the Colts behind you,” Wheeler Mission President/CEO Rick Alvis said.

With nearly 700 requests a month, this donation will nearly triple the number of beds available.

“We don’t turn anyone away but what we do is tell them, we don’t have any beds but if you want to come to the gym we can take you in there,” Alvis explained.

Not only will this $100,000 to Wheeler Mission help to expand the facilities here at the center for women and children but it will also add medical and mental health services and will add onto its staff which works hands on each day with those women seeking shelter.

“It’s not just about building a building, it’s about building changed lives and the only way you can do that is with one on one contact,” Alvis added.

Brandi Moran is one example of that. She came to Wheeler in search of shelter and support with her children. She is now a home owner who also serves on Wheeler’s staff.

“Everyone has a need and everyone needs to be heard and everyone needs to be loved so with more people being able to help with that is going to expand our love for each person,” Moran said.

Single mothers make up 85 percent of homeless families and Jackson says providing greater resources to those women is a mission close to her heart.

“Being a new mom, I can’t imagine not having what I would need to care for my child or any kind of support,”  Jackson said. “As we say it takes a village to raise children and i think this is where we can be there for women in the community that really need us.”

This donation will go toward Wheeler Mission’s Building for Change Campaign, which aims to $1.25 million in 125 days.

Wheeler says they are nearly halfway to that goal, with just over a month to go.

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