Slider

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 Gilmore, address homelessness in Bloomington and Shalom...

Read More

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 great again.” Because the beating and defiling...

Read More

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 being defaced almost immediately and, within a few...

Read More

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,...

Read More

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...

Read More

The Most Effective Way to End Homelessness

Posted by on Apr 23, 2014 in Blog, Slider | 0 comments

The Most Effective Way to End Homelessness

Homelessness has only existed as a sociological phenomenon for about 30 years. We’ve always had homelessness with us to some degree, but the numbers skyrocketed in the early 1980s. Because of this, we’re still learning how best to address the problem and we are also immersed in a time of great innovation and discovery. When I first became the Executive Director of the Shalom Center over 3 years ago, I thought the first thing Shalom should do is try to build a new permanent year-round, low barrier shelter. Shelter is the first thing and often the only thing many of us think of when we...

Read More