Every Sunday, a group of Hamilton County volunteers spend time provide hot meals to individuals facing homelessness in Indianapolis.
The volunteers are from Food 4 Souls, a Fishers-based nonprofit that has been helping individuals experiencing homelessness in Indianapolis for nine years. The meals served in downtown Indianapolis are provided by volunteers through local partnerships with restaurants like Domino’s and the Divvy in Carmel. However, volunteers provide a majority of the meals. Volunteers also spend time serving at Daniel’s House on Eastern Avenue in Indianapolis. Daniel’s House serves as a food pantry, helps with laundry and hygiene needs and provides local resources for those in need.
Vickie Tyner, Director of Operations for Food 4 Souls, said it is important for the volunteers to engage with those that they serve to build a sense of trust.
“When we go downtown to provide a meal and these basic necessities, we are focused on meeting that need, but we are also focused on building relationships with these individuals so that they learn to trust us because it goes so much deeper (than providing a meal),” Tyner said. “Like when someone is getting ready to go into housing, the assessment that they have to take asks a lot of deep personal questions, and if you don’t trust the person or know the person that is asking those questions of you, you’re less likely to be completely honest. We are very intentional about being relational with our friends because we do more than just provide a meal on Sunday.”