Fletcher Place Community Center in Indianapolis is celebrating 150 years of serving the community by feeding the hungry, helping the marginalized, lifting families up and helping them break the cycle of poverty.
Fletcher Place started very humbly in 1872 when a group of Methodist ministers began feeding hungry immigrants as they unloaded from train cars in downtown Indianapolis.
That humble beginning has grown considerably and formalized into a wonderful facility at 1637 Prospect St. in the Fountain Square area, where it impacts thousands of children and families every year. The facility is now primarily focused on children and pre-K education. After all, if you want to truly break the cycle of poverty, where do you start? With the kids.
Helping children obtain a strong foundation is critical to their future success, so that when they graduate into the public school system, they are on equal footing with those families that are likely in a more favorable socioeconomic setting. Presently, 100 percent of the enrolled children are on some form of scholarship, which means their families need help with food, clothing, education and more.
The hungry and marginalized, only about one-third of which are homeless, are being fed and nurtured by Fletcher Place a few blocks away. Volunteers serve meals, distribute hygiene kits as well as operate the food pantry and thriving thrift store.
The future of Fletcher Place Community Center is bright, which means those in need have hope for a better future.
Help celebrate 150 years with Fletcher Place from 5 to 10 p.m. Sept. 30 at the Indiana State Museum. Learn more and purchase tickets for the event at fletcherplacecc.org.
Randy Sorrell is a Carmel resident and Fletcher Place volunteer.