The Dayspring Center (DSC) is a nonprofit organization committed to combating and preventing family homelessness in central Indiana. It opened in July 1989 as a community crisis center to shelter homeless families and provide food and clothing to hungry people. Volunteers from the Indianapolis Episcopalian diocese ensured the center was built, located at 1537 Central Avenue. What began in 1982 as a daily feeding program and a blanket for sleeping on church pews developed into Dayspring Center.

A rectangular brick building with several windows in sets of threes is attached to a large brick church with gabled roof.
Dayspring Center, 2020 Credit: Kara Chinn

Dayspring Center meets the needs of homeless families and connects them with opportunities to help them realize their potential. It first serves as a family emergency shelter and provides critical resources for homeless families with children. Dayspring Center not only addresses a family’s emergency needs for food and safe shelter but also aims to equip them with the tools and resources they need to become a strong, healthy family again.

While the emergency shelter provides immediate relief, other programs target longer-term causes of homelessness because overcoming a crisis like homelessness does not happen overnight. The staff works with the entire family to address the issues that led to their homelessness and then to develop a plan that will put them on a path to independence.

In 45 to 60 days, most families are ready to exit the emergency shelter program and move into a place of their own. For the next 3 to 12 months, formerly homeless families continue to work toward their goals to become self-sufficient. Dayspring Center provides resources and guidance through a follow-up case management program that serves over 150 families annually. Its children’s programs serve 400 boys and girls per year.

Since the 30-plus years the doors have been open at Dayspring Center, over 4,000 families, including 10,000 children, have been served.

Revised March 2021

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