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A Home for All

Posted by on Nov 17, 2016 in Blog, Slider | 0 comments

A Home for All

When you pause to actually think about what it may mean to have a home for all people, chills creep over your skin and hope settles somewhere within. The hope and inspiration that fuels Shalom Community Center is the foundation for Thursday, November 10th’s event calling on our community to house each one of the current 340 homeless people in our city. Supporting the mission, the Fountain Square ballroom was packed and even the perimeter was lined with standing community members. All were there to hear Executive Director, Forrest...

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Why Hate for People without Homes is Never Okay

Posted by on Nov 17, 2016 in Blog, Slider | 0 comments

Why Hate for People without Homes is Never Okay

Two summers ago, the beating of a homeless, Hispanic man made the national news. Two men beat this poor man with a metal pipe and then urinated on him. This drew national attention because the two assailants, as they were beating the man, were reported to have said, “Donald Trump was right… All these illegals need to be deported.” When Donald Trump heard of the incident, he described it as a shame and then countered, “I will say, the people that are following me are very passionate. They love this country. They want this country to be...

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Panhandling, Signs, & Solutions

Posted by on Oct 19, 2016 in Blog, Slider | 0 comments

Panhandling, Signs, & Solutions

Nothing like some controversy to stir up the community. If you haven’t heard, the City of Bloomington recently installed 28 signs downtown that read, “Please help. Don’t encourage panhandling. Contribute to the solution.” The sign has a large no panhandling symbol in the middle and a web address at the bottom that links to a webpage which lists several organization combating homelessness, including Shalom. As you can imagine, the responses ranged from gleeful support to adamant disdain. The disdain led to several signs...

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Adopt-a-Bed Matching Campaign

Posted by on Oct 18, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

Adopt-a-Bed Matching Campaign

For a short time, any gift you make to support Friend’s Place shelter will be doubled. Please adopt-a-bed today (more info below) to keep the shelter alive long into the future! To donate, click here (and note Friend’s Place in the special instructions). It was that close. Arguably the most important homeless shelter in Bloomington almost closed forever. In the Spring of 2015, Martha’s House, Inc. went bankrupt, putting at risk the only year-round, nonreligious, emergency shelter for homeless adults in a 7 county region. Over...

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Send a Message of Love to Counter the Hate

Posted by on Aug 31, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Send a Message of Love to Counter the Hate

UPDATE: You have done it!! Between community arts grants and your support, we have successfully funded the project. Thank YOU so much for making this possible!! It’s hard to believe, but it’s been 5 years since we moved into our home at 620 S Walnut St. To celebrate, let’s not just acknowledge the day, but send a message to our community!! …that Love is stronger than hate… that Dignity is greater than discrimination. Let’s offer a lasting marker to the community of the values you have supported not just...

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Should You Give Money to People Who Are Panhandling?

Posted by on Jun 10, 2015 in Blog, Slider | 1 comment

Should You Give Money to People Who Are Panhandling?

People often ask me, “Should I give money to people who are panhandling?” The urge to give is a good one.  Please feel proud of your desire to give.  Generosity starts with the heart, and the desire to give reflects one of our greatest human values – compassion (literally “to feel with” another). But as a person of good heart, I am sure you often ask yourself, “What is the best way to be generous?” To give someone money on the street is ultimately a personal decision with pros and cons to whichever choice you make. On the...

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Everyone’s Story Matters

Posted by on Mar 26, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Everyone’s Story Matters

IU Journalism students working on semester-long storytelling project for Shalom Since January, six Indiana University students have been documenting client stories for Shalom as part of a semester-long storytelling project for Professor Sarah Neal Estes’ class, ‘Radio Innovation.’ “In this class, we tell audio stories in nontraditional ways,” Estes explained. “Students report for our local NPR affiliate and challenge themselves to work at professional level, or they challenge themselves in certain new...

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Community Mourns the Passing of Those Who Have Experienced Homelessness

Posted by on Dec 31, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Community Mourns the Passing of Those Who Have Experienced Homelessness

On December 22nd at the First United Church, members of the Bloomington community gathered to honor the lives of those who have experienced homelessness and died in the past year. Shalom’s Executive Director, Rev. Forrest Gilmore, said in the opening words, “The tragedy of American homelessness is a national disgrace. On this night, we gather to recognize the fatalities of this national wound.” Rev. Bruce Ervin of First Christian Church who offered the homily spoke to people without homes directly: “I know God is...

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The Heart-stirring Power of Partnership

Posted by on Dec 24, 2014 in Blog, Slider | 1 comment

The Heart-stirring Power of Partnership

Last winter, I came across a man at the eastside Barnes & Noble’s. Matted hair, torn and dirty clothing, an unshaven face, he had the distinct look of a chronically homeless person. He cast an aura of kindness but also extreme privacy. I caught a vibe of fragility and a touch of fear. So, I let him be. I learned later that he had been sleeping at the local Laundromat and spent the days in bookstores and fast food restaurants. No one knew him and he wasn’t using any services. I spoke with the PATH caseworkers from Centerstone to see if...

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Access for the Deserving (and Undeserving)

Posted by on Dec 24, 2014 in Blog | 1 comment

Access for the Deserving (and Undeserving)

This piece was written by one of our newest Board members, Ross Martinie Eiler. Ross is also a founding member of the Bloomington Catholic Worker Christian Radical community. Homelessness and poverty are a problem in Bloomington. This is not new. What is relatively new, however, is the strategy of addressing poverty by pushing the poor out of sight. Some recent examples include taking out benches by the public library, installing anti-homeless planters at the courthouse, arresting those sleeping in parking garages. The message remains the...

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