According to an article in the June 18 edition of the Indianapolis Star, there was a 78% increase in the number of homeless families in Indianapolis (read the article) between January 2008 and January 2009.  This trend can also been seen in The Salvation Army’s Shelter for Women and Children where the numbers served increased by more than 500 over last year.

Homelessness is becoming a major issue in Indianapolis, but not in a way most people may think.  The face of homelessness is not the panhandler on the corner, it’s a child.  More than 17% of the homeless population in Indianapolis are children with an average age of 9 years old.  Homelessness Bites is The Salvation Army’s initiative to end homelessness in Indianapolis.  Last year, The Salvation Army served 1,785 women and children at its shelter and each month we serve about 6,700 meals.

You can help us help those who are homeless and seeking shelter.  Visit HomelessnessBites.org to find out how.  You can also help and find out more by coming to our “A Night in Our City” event on Friday June 19, from 6-9 PM, on the corner of Park and 10th in downtown Indianapolis.  The event will bring public awareness to the great need in Indianapolis and will raise support for The Salvation Army’s Shelter for Women and Children.  Live music, games, and a silent auction are just some of the activities planned for the evening.  Food will be provided by Hot Box Pizza and Starbuck’s coffee.

Find out more about The Salvation Army’s Shelter for Women and Children at IndySocialServices.org.