Wheeler Mission Ministries Inc. said Wednesday that it has received a $1 million grant from the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust that will allow it to start construction on a new facility next to its shelter at 520 E. Market St. in downtown Indianapolis.
Wheeler plans a two-story, 12,000-square-foot services building at 117 N. East St., adjacent to and directly west of the existing building. The building will contain a laundry room, showers, restrooms, a dayroom and a multi-purpose room. IBJ reported on plans for the project in August.
Cost to construct the services building is expected to be about $2 million. Wheeler officials said the project will begin as soon as necessary permits are received.
By moving the laundry and showers into the new structure, Wheeler will be able to expand the existing shelter from 124 to 200 permanent beds. The new building also will contain an elevator that can be used to move men with disabilities to the upper floors of the shelter.
“Every night of the year, we’re sleeping anywhere from 35 to 75 men on the floor, depending on the weather,” Wheeler CEO Rick Alvis said in a prepared statement. “This generous grant will allow us to move men off the floor and into a bed.”
Wheeler so far has raised $3 million as part of a $6.5 million capital campaign to fund the entire downtown expansion project and other needs. Those needs include improvements at Wheeler’s addiction recovery center in Monroe County and work on its Center for Women & Children on the east side of Indianapolis.