HEAL HEARTS. BUILD HOPE. GROW TOGETHER.
The WING - A Place for Young Adults
Vision: The WING will be a free-standing, 4,500 sq. ft. structure behind the existing Erin’s House property that will increase capacity to serve more teens and young adults, enhance their program experience, and improve participant retention.
Erin’s House has been constant in our community for 30 years mainly serving 3 to 18-year-olds who have experienced a death. In the ten years of on-site grief support at our facility, there has been an overwhelming need for grief support services for teens proven by overcrowding in program rooms. With additional research, young adults 19 to 25 years old are an underserved age who also need peer support more than ever.
Northeast Indiana has seen a substantial incline in homicide, suicide, and overdose deaths with increasing mental health issues among children and young adults (Indiana Youth Institute’s 2021 Youth Risk Behavior Survey). When young adults are asking for a mental health room with an on-call counselor, we need to listen. Erin’s House has heard their voices and The WING will be that safe space–that common bond area–for these young adults to focus on their grief and their new normal.
The WING will be an oasis where there is a quiet room, three counseling rooms, and a large “hang-out” room for sharing memories and supporting one another. The WING building will add 29% more program space to provide grief support services at no cost to families. This space will increase the overall age range offered at Erin’s House from 3 to 18-year-olds to 3 to 25-year-olds. We anticipate a 15% annual growth rate for young adults despite being the hardest age group to get to walk through our doors. Building Committee Chair, Chris Gomez stated, “This project is so important for the mental health of young adults in our community.”
This year, we celebrate 30 years of success as a crucial community resource and have served approximately 35,000 individuals since 1993. “Erin’s House is blessed to call Fort Wayne home. None of this would have been possible without the support of the entire community in Northeast Indiana. In the words of one of our Erin’s House children, it truly will continue to be ‘the happiest place to be sad’.” Stated Debbie Meyer, Executive Director of Erin's House for Grieving Children. Erin’s House anticipates The WING to be complete next year.
Over the next few months, there will be opportunities for the community to support the Erin’s House capital campaign project.
Erin’s House anticipates The WING to be complete in 2024. MSKTD is designing the building and has produced these renderings of the new addition.