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Community Mourns the Passing of Those Who Have Experienced Homelessness

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

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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Reaching the Most Vulnerable – Thoughts on Low Barrier Services

Posted by on Nov 20, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Reaching the Most Vulnerable – Thoughts on Low Barrier Services

I was recently interviewed about our low barrier approach to services and thoughts the questions and responses might be of value to share with you. What does low-barrier mean? Are there any barriers that are set up and what would those be? Low barrier isn’t really rocket science. Virtually every business and government office has a low barrier approach without naming it as such. Basically, it means we have an open door policy. Anyone is welcome into our Center and can stay as long as they treat their fellow guests, the property, and the...

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Off the Streets: Our 2020 Vision to Combat Homelessness

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

On November 6, we announced our 2020 strategic plan to tackle homelessness in Bloomington. More than 150 people gathered in the Fountain Square Ballroom to support the event, led by President of the Board John Hamilton and Shalom Executive Director Forrest Gilmore. In brief, our 2020 Vision is as follows: 1.) End chronic homelessness. 2.) End homelessness for children and families. 3.) Reduce the need for emergency shelter by 50 percent. John opened the night by welcoming guests and updating them on Shalom’s work this past year. He then...

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IU Fraternity Raises Donations and Awareness for Shalom

Posted by on Oct 26, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

IU Fraternity Raises Donations and Awareness for Shalom

On Oct. 22, the Alpha Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi held a “Change for the Homeless” event to raise awareness and collect donations for the Bloomington homeless population. The fraternity camped outside IU’s Sample Gates from 6 am – 6 pm, and received donations of cash, winter wear, hygiene products and more. Kappa Alpha Psi also asked Bloomington residents who stopped by to discuss why making a change for the homeless was important to them. All donations will be sent to Shalom Community Center. Many thanks to the chapter...

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Veteran Homelessness

Posted by on Oct 24, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Veteran Homelessness

  “We’ve proven we can reduce veteran homelessness. Now, let’s end it” – Former Acting Secretary for Veterans’ Affairs Sloan Gibson Homelessness is a heart-wrenching problem in America- a country that believes in the idea anyone can ‘make it’. The issue of veteran homelessness should make this topic even more salient and prominent in our national consciousness. The idea that those who risk their lives in service to our country cannot find a place to live after their service is absolutely deplorable. Thankfully this...

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As Told by Me: Michale Williams’ Story of Success

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

As Told by Me: Michale Williams’ Story of Success

Tell us your story. I wasn’t homeless to start out, so I didn’t know Bloomington had help like Shalom. When I became homeless, I felt lost and didn’t know what to do—then people guided me in this direction. So it was rough for me when I started out, until I found Shalom. I became homeless after separating from a relationship. Then I lost my job, and remained homeless. I stayed that way for two years. During that time, I was looking for work while going to school at Ivy Tech, studying biotechnology and medical device manufacturing. My...

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They Aren’t Who You Think They Are

Posted by on Oct 2, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

They Aren’t Who You Think They Are

“Cuz these people aren’t who you think they are…”    Homeless individuals consistently face many constraints to getting the help they need. Some are pretty common, no matter what city they end up in – especially the stereotypes. So often, we as community members either consciously or subconsciously stereotype the homeless population. We assume the worst of people who are without a place to sleep – they didn’t work hard enough, they spent all of their money on drugs and alcohol, they have no ambition or desire to...

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Why We Do It: A Shalom Story of Success

Posted by on Sep 26, 2014 in Blog, Guest Story, Slider | 0 comments

Why We Do It: A Shalom Story of Success

“If Shalom was not here, [we] would still be homeless because it was the only place to turn to….you come in here and the littlest things help you get back on track.” After being laid off from work, Joe and Sabrina found themselves on hard times—no money, nowhere to be, and nowhere to live. They lost everything after entrusting Joe’s brother with money to pay the bills while they were out of town. When he spent the money on drugs, Joe and Sabrina were officially homeless. The couple spent almost two years living completely homeless....

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