Home | About Us | Contact Us

Fort Wayne, Ind. – The City of Fort Wayne today announced history was made when St. Joseph Missions Women’s Shelter was opened. The shelter addresses a key service gap because it is the first 24/7/365 emergency shelter that exclusively serves single women who are experiencing homelessness.

The City of Fort Wayne today celebrated this milestone at St. Joseph Missions Women’s Shelter, 3505 Lake Avenue with a special ceremony.

The community’s homeless system of care identified a need for an overnight shelter that serves single women experiencing a housing crisis. The community’s existing shelters serve single mothers accompanied by their children, single women currently struggling with drug/alcohol addiction, and unaccompanied women in crisis due to domestic violence. However, social-service organizations found securing emergency housing for single women who fell outside these parameters challenging. The absence of an emergency women’s shelter prevented the community from responding effectively and meaningfully in its efforts to end homelessness. 

The opening of the shelter was made possible with support from the Planning Council on Homelessness, community partners, and with guidance and significant funding through the City’s Office of Housing and Neighborhood Services.

St. Joseph Missions was founded in 2016 with a mission to shelter single homeless women in a safe, stable and nurturing environment. The organization’s initial homeless care efforts consisted of feeding homeless community members on a bimonthly basis.

St. Joseph Missions Women’s Shelter is currently hosting 14 guests. The shelter team also provides supportive services and connects guests to over 20 community partners, all with the goal of each guest achieving self-sufficiency and fulfilling her glorious potential. Two women who have overcome their own homeless crises serve on the board.

Funds from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development were used to assist St. Joseph Missions in the renovations. Many local businesses and community volunteers donated architectural/engineering expertise, skilled labor, and essential materials to bring this vision to fruition.