Women’s shelter to fill “major gap” in Fort Wayne

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA21) – “Families and men and women are facing hardships they’ve never faced before due to COVID and the other challenges of this year.”

Lisa Fabian sees daily the struggles facing members of the Fort Wayne community.

The organization she leads, St. Joseph Missions, plans to open the first 24/7 emergency shelter for single homeless women in Fort Wayne.

It will fill a major gap Fabian says exists in the community.

“In the last report from United Way, 1,022 single women identify as homeless (in Allen County),” Fabian explained.

The shelter won’t open until spring of 2021. So in the meantime, the organization is working with Just Neighbors Interfaith Homeless Network and other groups to offer overnight shelter for women in Fort Wayne.

“Each winter, a group of agencies come(s) together to talk about how we can address the unsheltered population in Fort Wayne. This year, just like previous years, we have a whole group of organizations together to try to meet this need,” said Joshua Gale, Just Neighbors Interfaith Executive Director.

The groups are partnering with the City of Fort Wayne to run the shelter out of the Fort Wayne Rescue Mission’s old building, on Superior Street, which the city now owns.

“I think overall with the homeless population, we think of homelessness more in the winter. It’s a 365 day/year issue here in Fort Wayne. It’s particularly true, especially true for women. Until St. Joseph opened in this shelter, we didn’t have a place for single women, without children, without addictions to go,” added Gale.

The overnight shelter on Superior Street will be open nightly 7:00 P.M. to 7:00 A.M. for single women. During the day, it will operate as a warming center for men, women and children, from 7:00 A.M. to 7:00 P.M.

The Fort Wayne Rescue Mission provides shelter for men.

Charis House provides housing for women and children.

Just Neighbors offers shelter for homeless families.

The YWCA Northeast Indiana has a crisis shelter for anyone experiencing domestic violence.

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