About two years ago, I met a man in Bloomington experiencing homelessness. He had moved here to take care of a sick relative and had fallen on hard times. He spoke to a group of us about the struggles he faces that many folks don’t even think about. For instance, when trying to get a job, he has to list an address. At many places, shelter addresses—all he has to list—are blacklisted, and people are turned away before they are even allowed to interview. Similarly, it is hard to receive mail if you don’t have a permanent address. Fortunately, we have a place here in town that not only provides shelter and food for folks like this man but also advocates on his behalf.
Since 2000, Shalom Community Center has been an amazing resource for people in Bloomington, Indiana, who are experiencing homelessness, hunger, and poverty. As a low-barrier shelter, they ensure that “hospitality, dignity, empowerment, and hope define all that we do.”
According to Shalom, the organization
provides hunger relief, day and overnight shelter, housing, social services, financial support, life essentials (like laundry, showers, and mail), and other related health and human services to hundreds of people each day and thousands of people each year. Ninety-six percent of our guests have incomes at or below 30% of the area median income (AMI), which is considered extreme poverty. Sixty percent of our guests are women and children. Eleven percent are veterans.
When we started Inkblot, one goal was to give back to our amazing community. Each quarter, we donate to a local organization, and this past quarter, we have chosen to thank Shalom Community Center. They do such important work in our community, and we’re honored to be able to donate to their cause.
If you find yourself in the position to give, consider Shalom Community Center or the many other worthy organizations in your community.