Homelessness and hunger is as big of an issue in Indianapolis as any other major city. Around 21% of Marion County residents were living in poverty in 2014 and 4,800-8,000 residents experience homelessness annually.
Finding the needed resources is one of the major barriers to recieving aid for those facing these problems.
Fortunately, Indianapolis does boast a variety of programs and organizations to help meet these needs. Listed below are just a few!
Connect2Help 211: Dialing this phone number will put you in touch with a specialist who can help facilitate recieving assistance on utility bills, locate food pantries, find healthcare aid, etc.
Dayspring Center: Dayspring is one of the only shelters in the area that serves entire families. They offer emergency shelter programs 24/7, a transitional housing program called the Wellspring Cottage, and follow-up case management to help families get back on their feet.
Catholic Charities Indianapolis: CCI offers their services to anybody, regardless of religious background. The services include a day care program for seniors with physical and cognitive difficulties, adult and child counseling, crisis services for food, clothing, rent, utilities, and transportation, and legal advice and support for immigrants and their families.
CHIP Indy: This organization focuses largely on advocacy and mobilizing citizens to help. However, they have contacts with many other organizations to focus on homelessness intervertion and may be of assistance in a housing crisis or a hunt for resources.
Saint Vincent de Paul: This society operates one of the larger food banks in the Indianapolis area. They do require some proof of financial situation, but can offer a good bit towards having a balanced meal.
Gleaners Food Bank: Gleaners does not distribute food directly to the public, but rather to the other shelters and pantries. They are valuable contact for finding food and shelter resources.
Jewish Federation of Greater Indianapolis: This organization offers their services regardless of background, through the Reuben Center. They collect supplies for school children in need, provide a food pantry, offer emergency financial assistance, employment assistance, and source home care for the elderly.
Fresh Bucks: This program is for those relying on SNAP benefits to fill their pantry. Simply take your EBT card to your local Marion County farmer's market and the program will double your benefit dollars (up to $20 at a time) to spend on local, fresh produce. The website has a list of market times, locations, and accessability by bus routes.
The Creative Change Project: The CCP is working to rebuild the homeless support network in Indy. They have a list on the website of where you can find a free meal every day of the week, where to find free clothing, where to find free events around the city, and bus route maps to all of the above.
Indy Hunger Network: Works with schools to provide meals for children with unmet nutritional needs at home, collaborate with Indy Urban Acres to get imperfect produce to food banks and pantries, and work with a variety of other partners to get food where it needs to go. Resources on the website.
Friends of Indianapolis Dogs Outdoors: FIDO has a pet food pantry twice a month which provides free pet food to those in need. Recipients must have proof of pet's spay or neuter, ID, and be low income.
City Gallery: Part of the Harrison Center, the city gallery's goal is to revitalize neighborhoods near downtown. They can provide information about parts of the city, and put you in touch with current residents looking for a roommate.