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On Friday June 15th, The Salvation Army officially dedicated its new Barton Center in downtown Indianapolis. The center, which provides supportive housing for families and individuals who need a social service component to keeping them independent, features 28 apartments, and 10 SRO (Single Room Occupancy) units. Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson took part in the dedication ceremony. Mayor Peterson remarked that the homeless population need “the compassion and the heart that The Salvation Army delivers each day.” The new center supports Mayor Peterson’s Blueprint to End Homelessness in Indianapolis, which calls for affordable housing and supportive services for families and individuals.

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Also speaking at the dedication ceremony was The Salvation Army’s Territorial Commander, Commissioner Ken Baillie. Commissioner Baillie compared the Army to a platypus saying “a platypus isn’t just one thing, it’s a lot a different things. It has fur like a mammal and a bill like a duck. It lays eggs and nurses its young. The Army, too, is a lot of different things with many different programs of which this new center to battle homelessness is now included.”

The ceremony also included a special birthday greeting to Mayor Peterson who’s birthday happened to be the same day. The Barton Center is already at full capacity with nearly 75 residents. If you would like for information about the Barton Center please call (317) 423-2575.

Quick History – The Salvation Army’s Barton Center was completed in the fall of 2006. The main building was originally the old Barton Hotel which has stood on the corner of Michigan and Delaware for more than 80 years. During the construction process, every effort was made to return the façade to its original 1923 appearance. A large part of this $10 million project was made possible by a grant from the Lilly Endowment through the United Way of Central Indiana.