Shalom Community Center, Inc. is a safe, daytime resource center for people experiencing homelessness and poverty in South Central Indiana.
Many of our guests are temporary residents at area emergency shelters, and use Shalom as a point of contact for potential employers, personal support networks, and human services representatives from more than 20 local nonprofit agencies. In addition to providing access to phones, mail, transportation vouchers and a number of in-house programs, we are the only agency in the county to provide breakfast and lunch daily, serving more than 7,000 hot, nutritious meals each month.
The Shalom Community Center began as just an idea, like many agencies fundamental to the well-being of our community. In 2000, some members of the First United Methodist Church realized that people staying in emergency shelters in Bloomington had no place to go during the day when they were expected to be out of the shelter between 9am and 4pm. Before Shalom Community Center opened, people without homes spent time on the street, went to the library, or went any place that they would be unnoticed, but seemed always unwelcome. The church members partnered with a local emergency shelter to open a room in the church to provide a safe place to go during the day as well as offer coffee, newspapers, and a listening ear. This became known as Shalom Community Center, a joint program of Shelter, Inc. and the First United Methodist Church. It was named Shalom because Shalom means “welcome,” or “peace be upon you” in Hebrew. Because we are open and welcoming to everyone, the name fit perfectly.
September 19, 2002, Shalom Community Center gained 501(c)3 nonprofit status and became an entity of its own. In just a few short years, it went from just an idea, to one room in a church, to what we are now, a safe daytime shelter for people experiencing homelessness or poverty with greatly expanded programs and services, including free breakfast and lunch service. In its first year of service, about Shalom served about 20 guests per day. Now it serves over 200 people daily.