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Indy’s near east side a ‘therapy dessert’; advocates aim to expand mental health resources

(Provided Photo/91 Place)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A local organization on a mission to help homeless youth is expanding with a new home and increased mental health services.

91 Place, a non-profit that provides transitional housing and support for youth and young adults, is addressing mental health challenges within the community. The organization, which launched Indy’s first trauma-informed coffee shop and transitional homes, is now focusing on expanding its mental health services.

With a $3.4 million investment from the City of Indianapolis last year, 91 Place has established three houses, offering 12 transitional housing beds for young adults aged 16 to 24.

Building on this foundation, the organization is now directing its efforts toward enhancing mental health services.

The funding will now facilitate a 50% expansion of mental health services, specifically aimed at serving high-risk youth. The organization says their goal is to provide mental health support to 150 individuals a year.

Karryn Adamowicz, a spokesperson for the organization, shared the significance of this expansion and its potential impact on the community.

“The near east side of Indianapolis is a therapy desert,” Adamowicz said. “So, when we first started 91 Place in the summer of 2019, we had to drive our residents up to Carmel for trauma-informed therapy … that’s a round trip of at least an hour, plus pay, for these private trauma-informed therapists, and so now we’ll have these trauma-informed therapists here to serve the community of the near east side.”

In early August, the organization opened its third transitional home. They are currently staffing the house and recruiting two full-time house mentors.

The new facility will welcome four additional youths, each having their own dedicated room. Adamowicz said most of the young people they serve have never had a space or place of their own.

“It’s really incredible because when we are serving the youth that we are serving, we’re not just thinking about their needs. We’re thinking about changing and disrupting generational poverty and chronic homelessness,” Adamowicz said.

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