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INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Homelessness is a growing crisis among women and children in Indianapolis, and the Wheeler Mission says it’s seeing numbers like never before because of the pandemic.

Wheeler Mission has started construction to expand the Center for Women and Children but it still needs help.

The new Wheeler Mission Expansion will allow the group to serve hundreds more women and children each day.

“With families a lot of time they’re in cars, their cars, sleeping on people’s couches, they’re doubled up with others. It appears hidden but they are no less in a traumatic and chaotic situation,” said Colleen Gore with Wheeler Mission.

The Wheeler Mission Center for Women and Children is bursting at the seams.

The center is housing 100 people at the center. More than 300 are at a hotel, and almost 200 of those are kids.

Wheeler Mission has been trying to raise $12 million through its Build For Change Campaign to complete the expansion on the Center for Women and Children. Gore said it’s more important now than ever that the community come together and help reach the goal.

“This helps our entire community move forward by moving people back into the workforce, helping stabilize neighborhoods, feeding into kids and helping them break that cycle in their own family,” said Gore.

This new expansion will more than double more the program’s capacity and shelter beds. It will have an additional 164 permanent beds, improved children’s ministry and indoor area, additional staff and a new space for medical clinics.

“The building was designed with such intentionality to really preserve the dignity of the women and children that we serve,” said Gore.

Gore said the reasons for homelessness are just as varied as the individuals experiencing it. That’s why this expansion is important.

“This is an environment that will reflect how we see them and what they deserve,” said Gore.

They hope to open the doors in July.

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Indiana coronavirus timeline

With information from the Indiana Department of Health through March 4, 2021, this timeline reflects updated tallies of deaths and positive tests prior to that date.