More than 30 years ago, local churches, including Westminster Presbyterian Church, began providing at-risk neighborhood youth with summer activities. They continued their outreach by serving children in the community with summer programming, which then also evolved into an afterschool and mentoring program.
Westminster became more aware of other needs that the families of these youth faced. To address that, Westminster added a food pantry, soup kitchen, clothing closet and joined with Gennesaret Free Clinic to provide health services. In 2009, Westminster expanded its programming to include preschool for children ages 3 and 4.
After operating as a ministry of the Whitewater Valley Presbytery as Westminster Neighborhood Ministries for nearly 15 years, Westminster Neighborhood Services, Inc. became an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit in 2014. Westminster’s new Family and Adult Services Center opened in February 2015. Future plans call for construction of a children’s campus just north of the existing location.
Westminster is on Indianapolis’ Near Eastside, where many families struggle with poverty, stress, illiteracy, hunger and joblessness. Westminster’s goal is to continue to expand its programming and community partnerships to provide an even more comprehensive continuum of services that meet the needs of the at-risk families living within Westminster’s service area.