When Wheeler Mission celebrated the Aug. 11 grand opening of its expanded Center for Women & Children (CWC) in Indianapolis, the local nonprofit marked a new chapter. Funded by New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) financing and a robust capital campaign, the $14 million development helps Wheeler Mission triple its capacity to serve women and children experiencing homelessness.

For the NMTC investment, Wheeler Mission turned to Chase, which provided $2.9 million in NMTC equity. Combining strong community support with NMTC financing helped the CWC expansion cross the finish line.

Discussions to expand the CWC began almost immediately after it opened in 2009, with the demand for shelter services growing each year.

“There’s a significant lack of emergency resources and long-term programs,” said Colleen Gore, Wheeler Mission’s chief program officer for women. “That’s the driving force behind our expansion and that the New Markets Tax Credit helped move forward.”

"There’s a significant lack of emergency resources and long-term programs. That’s the driving force behind our expansion and that the New Markets Tax Credit helped move forward." - Colleen Gore, Wheeler Mission’s chief program officer for women

The CWC expansion is a new construction addition to Wheeler Mission’s existing facility. The additional CWC space provides 164 new permanent beds, including 30 transitional apartments for mothers with children. There are also 84 new family shelter beds, 40 new emergency shelter beds, a day room, a secure child care area, an indoor play space for children, redesigned and expanded dining areas, an expanded education center and visiting rooms for community services.

All in all, the CWC can accommodate a 50% increase in programs, such as counseling, job training, addiction recovery, social enterprise and other services. The expansion also created 15 full-time and three part-time jobs for program and security support.

With the CWC expansion completed, Wheeler Mission takes and important step in addressing the immediate needs of women and children experiencing homelessness, as they move toward the goal of housing stability.

Adapted with permission from “NMTCs, Capital Campaign Drive $14 Million Expansion of Indianapolis Women and Children’s Center” Teresa Garcia, Novogradac Journal of Tax Credits, September 2021

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