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Refuge Place Indy looking for help so it can keep helping others

Refuge Place Indy is looking for help after losing two vehicles they need to serve those experiencing homelessness in Indianapolis.
Credit: WTHR
Volunteers with Refuge Place Indy distribute food to those in need downtown.

INDIANAPOLIS — An organization that helps the city’s homeless is in need itself.

13News first reported last week, the nonprofit Refuge Place Indy is borrowing vehicles because fire destroyed its only van. 

The all-volunteer group can usually be found feeding people every day on the sidewalk outside of Lugar Plaza. Lately, they’ve been doing their work in the parking lot of the Old City Hall on North Alabama Street. 

Come next Monday, though, they say they might not be there, either.

“We try to do outreach, but now we’re reaching out," said Refuge Place Indy board member and volunteer Regina Gibson. “If someone has a van, we really need it. This is an urgent request."

With Thanksgiving one week away, volunteers like Gibson are wondering how they’re going to do what they do for many of the city's homeless. 

RELATED: Group struggles to continue mission of feeding Indy's homeless after both of their trucks break down

After next week, the group, which is totally funded by donations, says it won’t have a way to pick up supplies, like the food, warm clothing and blankets volunteers hand out daily this time of year.   

“There are so many sites we go to on a daily basis, as well as when we feed our homeless friends. We have to pick up donations, when persons say they have donations for us to pick up, we need to be ready to pick them up then," Gibson explained.

13News told you last week how the nonprofit lost the van after an engine fire destroyed it. Volunteers didn’t stop, though, borrowing a van from a local business in Plainfield to continue their work.

Now, Refuge Place Indy says it must return the van without a replacement. 

“If we don’t get a van by Monday, many of the services that are provided to the homeless will be closed. We won’t be able to do it," Gibson said.

Right at a time when it’s getting colder.  

“We know we have the shelters, but there are so many that are not in the shelters, lying in alleys, on the park benches, at the bus stops," Gibson said.

Those are the people this nonprofit fears it soon won’t be able to help.

“This van will be a blessing to our homeless friends," Gibson said.

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