FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Earlier this month, the Fort Wayne Rescue Mission expanded emergency services to women and children with plans for a new building to do even more.
In a press release, a spokesperson said the rescue mission had begun sheltering the women in a secure area of the men’s facility, 404 E Washington Blvd.
“There was a great void within our community that we could not allow to continue,” said Dusty Krause, senior vice president of program operations at the Rescue Mission. “We could not accept the fact that women and children had to fend for themselves at night in this community. It was never a question of whether we were going to help; How was it.
The Rescue Mission provides temporary accommodation for up to 24 months for women and children at Charis House, 431 Fairmount Pl. The capacity there is approximately 75 beds.
To meet the growing demand for emergency services for women and children, the Rescue Mission recently entered into an agreement with YWCA Northeast Indiana to purchase the property at 5920 Decatur Rd.
“Due to other emergency programs available in the community, Charis House’s current location and program was designed to address the longer-term root causes of homelessness,” said Karla Lipsey, senior vice president of program operations at Charis House. “However, the gap in services for women and children experiencing homelessness is widening, so we are doing all we can to meet the growing need.”
The rescue mission served nearly three times as many people and families as in previous years. The increase in demand and the most recent expansion of emergency services are creating challenges for the organization.
“The increase in the number of individuals and families seeking our services has created additional strain on our staff and resources,” Krause said. “Even when strained to meet demand, our primary concern has always been for those we serve, both on a day-to-day and programmatic basis.”