Are you in immediate need of emergency shelter?  We want to help if we can.

STEP 1: Call us between 10am and 4pm Monday-Friday at 317-261-1562 to check if we have space.  You can walk in as well to 1850 N. Arsenal Ave., but as space is limited it is best to call first, even if you have to borrow a phone.

STEP 2: If we have space, make sure you can answer "True" to all of the following:

  • There is at least one child under 18 years old in my household.  Because we are a family shelter program.
  • I am not fleeing domestic violence. Because we are not a secure or hidden site for families at risk of violence.
  • There is nobody on the National Sex Offender Registry in my family. Because with the children present in our shelter program, we will not accept any one with a prior conviction for a sex offense (and legally we cannot because we are within 1,000 feet of a school).
  • If accepted, I could arrive at the Family Promise Day Center today. Because we only do same day intake interviews. We do not make appointments for later in the week due to very high demand.  We can consider picking you up, but that is dependent on having available staff.
  • NOTE: If you couldn't answer "True" to any of these, call 2-1-1 (or 317-926-4357) to find out what other shelters or assistance programs might be available to you.

STEP 3: If you answered "True" to those questions, we will do a phone screening that will last 10-20 minutes.  We will describe the program and ask about your situation.  We do not take calls on the weekends because we do not have adequate staff available then.

STEP 4: If after the phone screening you and the Case Manager agree the shelter program might be a good fit for you, you will be invited in for an in-person interview.  While the interview is not a guarantee of acceptance into the program, we encourage you to bring all of your belongings possible.  If you are in Indianapolis and need a ride to our Day Center, please tell us during the phone screening.

What happens if I'm accepted in?


We do our best to support you with whatever immediate needs you have.  We have emergency food, showers/towels, and basic clothing for all sizes adults and kids, even babies.  However, other than pack-n-plays for babies, we do not have beds.  This is what makes our shelter program different, and takes getting used to.  Here's how we provide shelter using a network of congregations:

At 5:00 p.m. each day a 15-passenger van arrives at the Day Center to pick up families (some have their own cars and drive; that is not required).  That van takes the families to a congregation--like a church or synagogue--that becomes your "shelter" for the week.  Your family will have a private room there with beds.  You will get a home-cooked meal there, basic breakfast foods, and items to pack a bagged lunch for each afternoon for each member of your family.  Most congregations have a playground, some have basketball courts and tricycles, and many volunteers plan evening activities to engage children with crafts, bingo, games, and more!  Every morning, the van brings your family back to the Day Center where kids can catch the bus to school, adults can go to work, and those looking for work can use our computer lab, laundry facilities, kitchen, and more.  We have a full-time Program Manager who works with you to secure childcare/school, employment/disability, and housing as fast as possible.

Other Shelters

Indianapolis only has a few shelters for families, and there are many families in need.  Many shelters are full, and we--like others--get 10 calls per day, but we are designed to only accept eight families at a time.  If you keep calling 2-1-1 and find we or others are all full, there will be an opening eventually so please keep calling.  You can also try calling the Homeless Initiative Program (HIP) at 317-957-2275.  While HIP does not run a shelter, they do have case managers that might have an opening to help you until a shelter opens.  Other family shelters we refer to include Dayspring Center (317-635-6780) and Holy Family Shelter (317-635-7830).  When in doubt, call 2-1-1 (or 317-926-4357) 24 hours a day to talk to an operator and learn about all the resources the community has set up to help people in need.

May God grant you the serenity to accept the things you cannot change, courage to change the things you can, and wisdom to know the difference. (Serenity Prayer)

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Family Promise of Greater Indianapolis – 1850 N. Arsenal Avenue – Indianapolis, IN 46218       T: 317-261-1562      F: 317-261-6308

© 2018 Family Promise of Greater Indianapolis. All Rights Reserved.
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