Blog

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 “pro” side, you are giving directly to a person,...

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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 innovative ways.” The project was inspired by and...

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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 walking with you on the streets this holiday season. If...

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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 they could track him down, but they were unable to...

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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 same: people who are homeless are not welcome...

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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 neighbors with respect. Low barrier means making...

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