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IPS school to be used as homeless shelter for winter months

The school will house women, children and families if other facilities have reached capacity.

INDIANAPOLIS — NOTE: The above video is from a previous report when plans had not been finalized to use the school as overflow housing for people who are homeless.

IPS and the City of Indianapolis reached an agreement to use School 68 as overflow housing for people who are homeless this winter. The school will house women, children and families. No men will be placed on site unless they are with their families.

The site will only be used if other city facilities are at maximum occupancy. 

Those placed there will need a referral and will be screened by Wheeler Mission staff. No walk-ins will be allowed.

The site will be staffed around the clock by Wheeler Mission staff. Custodial services and security will be contracted by the city. The city will also handle on-site shower trailers at the building.

RELATED: East Indianapolis neighbors concerned former IPS school will become potential homeless shelter

The site will enforce a nightly curfew of 9:30 p.m. with exceptions for work schedules. 

No drugs or alcohol will be allowed and personal items will be inspected. Any violation will result in expulsion from the program.

People staying at the school will still have access to case managers and employment and housing support services to hopefully lead to permanent housing.

IPS and city officials met with people living in the Otterbein Neighborhood to discuss the project.

In late October, neighbors contacted 13News after learning about the possibly use of School 68 as a homeless shelter after happening to talk to an IPS employee, who was outside the school.

"It's very sad that they have money to put in here and help homeless, and I agree with that. I'm not against that, none of us are, but it was the way you went about it, not notifying us and not taking care of our neighborhood when we've asked for it," said Christina Hawkins, during an October interview with 13News.

The IPS School Board is expected to vote on and approve the measure Thursday.

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