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Outreach is on a mission to end youth homelessness

November is Youth Homelessness Awareness Month

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Outreach is on a mission to end youth homelessness in Indiana by offering support, resources, and hope for the future.

Outreach staffers believe there are roughly 7,800 homeless youth and young adults in Indianapolis. They hope the program will grow so that they can help more people.

The organization’s facilities provide access to basic needs and services. Young people facing housing insecurity can stop in for a meal, wash clothes or pick out new clothes, use a computer, and take a shower. Staff and volunteers also build relationships with youth to help them achieve stability and life transformation.

Outreach’s ARCH (Advocacy, Relationship, Coaching in High Schools) program helps homeless high school students with things like birth certificates, Social Security cards, bus passes, educational assistance, and more.

The ARCH Program is in its 20th year and operates in Pike High School, Washington Township high schools, Indianapolis Public Schools, and Lawrence Township high schools.

“This is a way that we can get into the schools and meet these needs because youth are hiding, especially in high schools, because they may have stayed at a friend’s house the night before and people may not look at that as homelessness. They may not even know that they’re homeless, so being able to meet with a social worker and meet with different staff at school are able to identify and provide for students to eventually lead them to us is so crucial,” Mary Voight, communications manager for Outreach, said.

Outreach is taking donations with a goal of reaching $350,000 by the end of 2023. The organization is also asking for items such as food, toiletries, and clothing.  

Homeless youth between the ages of 14 and 24 in need of services can stop by one of three Outreach locations:

  • Near Eastside Program Center, 2416 E. New York St., Indianapolis
    • Open Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays
    • Hours 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m
  • Impact Old Southside | 1431 S. Meridian St., Indianapolis
    • Open Tuesdays
    • Hours 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.
  • Lawrence Center | 5200 Shadeland Ave., Indianapolis
    • Open Thursdays
    • 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Outreach believes if youth homelessness is stopped, it can prevent them from experiencing home insecurity as an adult.