The Holy Family Shelter
The Holy Family Shelter in Indianapolis provides emergency housing to families that have lost their homes or are experiencing exceptional circumstances. The completed building is connected to an existing historic church under a glass enclosure. The bottom floor of the new shelter houses offices, a kitchen, and learning centers supporting the shelter's mission. The top floor is a secure area with individual rooms for the family and a large central bathroom and laundry area.
Silver Creek Engineering designed all structural components for the shelter, submitted sealed drawings to the state, reviewed shop drawings and submittals, and provided construction support and site observations. Durability was essential because the facility receives heavy use with many families moving in and out of the shelter weekly. The design team decided to use exposed structural materials as the final finish, so the concrete floors and CMU walls had to be closely designed to prevent visible cracking. Silver Creek designed floor support systems with minimal depth in the corridors and coordinated joist design between the mechanical engineers and the joist manufacturers in order to create room for the HVAC system needed for a large multi-use space in a relatively small plenum.
"Helping Homeless Families Help Themselves"
The Holy Family Shelter opened its doors to homeless families in Indianapolis in 1984 and has never closed them. It was the first Indianapolis homeless shelter designed specifically for entire families, with or without children. Its purpose is to provide emergency residential shelter that includes three meals a day, hygiene supplies, and access to telephones, laundry facilities, and transportation. All services are free to residents. There is room for 22 families at one time. A family generally stays for 30-45 days and works with a case manager to achieve and maintain self-sufficiency. Family members are connected to a network of local
social service agencies that provide housing assistance, GED preparation, employment training, domestic violence counseling, mental health services, addiction treatment, legal counseling, and other services.
Once the family has moved out of the emergency shelter, Holy Family Transitional Services steps up to provide housing and supportive social services. Families who face difficult challenges due to serious, persistent issues are at most risk of falling back into homelessness without the support that programs like this offer.