Our Blog

Homeless Jesus*

Posted by on Apr 15, 2014 in Blog, Slider | 0 comments

Homeless Jesus*

“No one knows his name, a man who lives on the streets, and walks around in rags. Once I saw that man in a dream. He and God were building an extraordinary temple.” - St Francis of Assisi   There’s a bronze statue that sits outside an Episcopal Church in an upscale college-town community just north of Charlotte, North Carolina. The life-size sculpture depicts a sleeping man on a park bench, wrapped in a blanket. It’s the typical image of a homeless man that we’ve seen countless times, but for one thing – the man’s feet...

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Crawford Resident Billy Young Named 2014 Homeward Bound Spokesperson

Posted by on Apr 7, 2014 in Blog, Guest Story, Slider | 0 comments

Crawford Resident Billy Young Named 2014 Homeward Bound Spokesperson

The Homeward Bound walk is an annual effort to help raise awareness and funding for agencies working to end homelessness in Bloomington. We are very excited to announce that Crawford resident and all-around good guy, Billy Young, has been named the spokesperson for this year’s walk. Billy has graciously shared his story with us. (If you’d like to support Billy and the Shalom Center with a donation for this year’s walk, click here.) Last, Fallen and Love – My Bloomington Story Written By Billy Young 3 words will be...

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Homeward Bound 2014

Posted by on Apr 7, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Homeward Bound 2014

Mark your calendars – Sunday, April 13, 2013 is the official date for the 12th annual Homeward Bound 5K Walk! To join Shalom’s team, click here. To donate to our team, click here. As the largest collaborative fundraiser of nonprofits in Bloomington, it’s a great way to get involved in the community and help work to alleviate homelessness and poverty. Over the past decade, this local event has raised $574,690, 100% of which goes directly to the 12 participating agencies to help people experiencing homelessness with shelter, food,...

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Why Some People Don’t Use “High Expectation” Shelters and Missions

Posted by on Apr 5, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Some have suggested that the only reason people don’t use high barrier shelters is because of alcohol and drug testing. Here are the actual reasons we hear from people experiencing homelessness: Their time allotment has run out They don’t want to go to church multiple times per week They’re unable to prove their identity or income They’re from the wrong town They work at night They have TB  or other contagious illnesses They’re not the right religion or do not attend the right denomination They’re unable...

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A Fool For The Poor

Posted by on Apr 1, 2014 in Blog | 6 comments

A Fool For The Poor

Over 4 years ago, I was hired to be the Assistant Director of the Shalom Community Center, a day shelter and resource center for people experiencing hunger, homelessness, and poverty in Bloomington, Indiana. I started on the job on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, which felt like a humbly auspicious beginning to some powerful, new work. After a year on the job, Joel Rekas, our Executive Director at the time, announced his resignation. I was shocked at his decision. While I had certainly thought that I might be interested in the Executive...

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Urgent Need for Camping Gear

Posted by on Mar 31, 2014 in Blog, Slider | 0 comments

Urgent Need for Camping Gear

With the closing of the Interfaith Winter Shelter for the season, as many as 60 people are now without shelter. People are in desperate need of outdoor camping gear; tents, sleeping bags, tarps, backpacks, and rain ponchos/jackets will be especially needed. Please donate any items you can so we can give them to people in need. You can deliver items during Shalom’s open hours M-F from 8 am-4 pm or contact the Center – (812) 334-5728, admin@shalomcommunitycenter.org – to arrange an after hours drop-off time.

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A Hopeless Life No More

Posted by on Feb 18, 2014 in Blog, Guest Story, Slider | 0 comments

A Hopeless Life No More

“Even though I was living a hopeless life, I wanted to be a part of Shalom and give back….” “Shalom was there when I most desperately needed them. It was a place I could come and feel safe and I could find love and compassion.” -Jimmy Brown When Jimmy first started coming to Shalom 13 years ago, he regularly abused alcohol and drugs and was repeatedly in and out of trouble with the local police. Due to addiction issues and degenerative disk disease, finding a sufficient job was difficult. His addiction caused a lot of damage to his...

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Million Dollar Murray – Why Low Barrier Services Matter, Part 2

Posted by on Dec 10, 2013 in Blog, Slider | 0 comments

Million Dollar Murray – Why Low Barrier Services Matter, Part 2

Misunderstanding and misplaced criticism abound over the low barrier model.  It’s important to make clear how powerful our approach to homeless and poverty services actually is.  (To read part 1 on this subject, including a definition of the low barrier approach, click here.) The low barrier model is considered national best practice. Federal and State funding are trending more and more towards this way of providing services. This is based not just on sentiment but also on effectiveness. The low barrier model is more effective in doing...

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The Concert

Posted by on Dec 10, 2013 in Blog, Slider | 1 comment

The Concert

This poem was written by Virginia Hall, retired clergy from Trinity Episcopal Church,  in response to an encounter she had with a person experiencing homelessness in Bloomington. Walking down Kirkwood eyes peeled ahead to my destination a concert in a big hall on a big organ. When suddenly out of the corner of my eye I see her familiar yet distant. Her eyes sparkled as we connected             skin softened yet taught holding untold stories. Where had she been             since we last met            ...

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“Having a place like this can make the difference between somebody dying on the street and somebody completely pulling their life together and becoming a good parent, friend, and a mentor in the community.”

Posted by on Oct 10, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

“Having a place like this can make the difference between somebody dying on the street and somebody completely pulling their life together and becoming a good parent, friend, and a mentor in the community.”

Alana was raised in a family with a history of substance abuse, domestic violence, and mental and emotional abuse. She started abusing substances at the age of 8 and was culture shocked when she realized that it wasn’t the norm for most people.  After couch surfing with other substance abusers for years, she decided to pitch a tent in the forest and live there while she tried to become sober and find services. She turned to Shalom where she found comfort and hope in a listening ear and a daily hot meal. Our services provided her with an...

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