Building a stronger, more compassionate Indianapolis: Homelessness and the biblical path forward


Indianapolis, our great city, boasts a rich history of resilience and grit. Like many urban centers across the nation, however, we grapple with homelessness and a litany of other cultural concerns. As we search for solutions, it’s worth considering a path forward that draws from both our city’s Hoosier hospitality spirit and timeless biblical wisdom.

Homelessness is a complex issue. Few know this more than organizations like Wheeler Mission. To create a safer, more compassionate Indianapolis, we are encouraged by the Bible to embrace a community-driven approach. We are all in this together. To address homelessness, it is imperative we take a collaborative approach. We, at Wheeler Mission, strongly believe every person deserves a clean, safe and warm place to rest their head each night.

Matthew 25:35-36 states, “For I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in.” That Bible verse pretty much sums it up for us.

Through community support of local shelters by volunteering or advocating for affordable housing, purposeful efforts make a big difference. We are thankful for all the initiatives directed toward homelessness — everything from a gubernatorial task force to city and state measures to come alongside providers. Each act is a testament to the deep roots of compassion in this great city.

At Wheeler Mission, every day we work to strengthen families and communities. For over 130 years, we have been a part of our city’s tapestry of service providers striving to uplift some of the most vulnerable in our community.

Acts 20:35 reminds us, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” As residents, we should give our time, empathy and resources to uplift those in need, acknowledging that this is not just a challenge for the city but the responsibility of the community, too.

At Wheeler Mission we believe in the power of second chances. The biblical principle of forgiveness reminds us that redemption is always possible.

The resilient spirit of Indianapolis has seen us through many trials and it will undoubtedly guide us through more to come. Together, we can continue to transform our city by drawing from biblical wisdom and a history of grit and compassion.

It’s time to roll up our sleeves, put on our thinking caps and get to work. The path forward can unite us with a blend of compassion, empathy and biblical values to overcome citywide challenges, allowing us to continue to thrive as the great city we are.

Remember, it’s not just about addressing homelessness, it’s also about shaping the character and future of our beloved city. Let’s leave a legacy of love and resilience for generations to come.

Perry Hines is the president and CEO of Wheeler Mission.