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Bloomington Urban Enterprise Association Give Grants for New Homeless Shelter, Invites Community To Help Contribute
Updated December 22, 2015 3:54 PM
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(BLOOMINGTON) - The Bloomington Urban Enterprise Association (BUEA) recently awarded grant funds of up to $350,000 through 2016 to the Shalom Community Center, 620 S. Walnut St. for the operation of a new homeless shelter.

This shelter, currently called the Community Sheltering Project, will replace the former Martha's House shelter located at 919 S. Rogers St.

"I am gratified the BUEA was able to stabilize this valuable Bloomington resource and give it potential for future growth. With continued support from the community its future can be bright," said Jack Baker, President, BUEA. The BUEA, which focuses on economic vitality of the Bloomington Urban Enterprise Zone where the Shelter is located, responded to a request on Wednesday from the Bloomington City Council that the BUEA provide a grant of $150,000 for transitional funding to the shelter. "This city government, Shalom and BUEA partnership will establish stability for a critical social service need," said Mayor Mark Kruzan.  "I applaud the research and work the City Council put in to make this initiative possible.  Shalom and the BUEA should also be proud of their commitment to better Bloomington residents' lives by awarding and matching these grants."

"The effort to ensure the long-term success of such an important transitional, high-expectation shelter reflected the importance of the facility," said Darryl Neher, City Council district five representative. "I am grateful to the BUEA for seeing this broad-based support and appreciate their willingness to work with us to ensure our community continues to provide the shelter and case management that has proven so valuable to our city, county, and region. For the first time in my memory, this transitional shelter has the financial resources necessary to build a sustainable future."

In addition to the transitional funding the BUEA voted to establish a matching grant program for 2016. The BUEA is encouraging community members to donate to the new sheltering project and will match contributions up to $200,000 to ensure stability of funding in the years to come. Any donations made after Jan. 1 will go towards the $200,000 matching grant. "I'm in awe. This is an extraordinary gift," said Rev. Forrest Gilmore, Executive Director, Shalom Community Center. "Not only will this save 40 year-round emergency shelter beds in our community, but perhaps even more importantly, give us the necessary time to grow our budget to make this sustainable for the long haul."

With this transitional funding in place, the Shalom Center offered to manage the operations. If you wish to write a check, please designate the gift on the check. For web donations, please write a note in the notes section. Contributions may be given online at or by check mailed to:

Shalom Community Center
℅ The Community Sheltering Project
P.O. Box 451
Bloomington, IN 47402

Since 2013, 12 beds have been added to the facility and it has been able to serve 40 people per night. Between May 2014 and April 2015, the shelter offered services to an average of 51 people each month. In addition to providing shelter, the the facility also offers case management services to people who are drug- and alcohol-free and does not discriminate on gender, religious belief, or reasons for homelessness. Martha's House, Inc. previously oversaw these services until it dissolved earlier this year.

About Shalom Community Center, Inc.
The mission of the Shalom Community Center is to aid and empower people experiencing homelessness and poverty.

Shalom Community Center envisions a community that honors every person's fundamental right to sustenance, a safe home, quality health care, and meaningful work. We see ourselves as a key leader in providing the full range of support and services for people dealing with poverty and homelessness in South Central Indiana. For more information about Shalom Community Center, visit

About the Bloomington Urban Enterprise Association
The Bloomington Urban Enterprise Association provides the means to improve the economic, physical and social environment for Zone residents and businesses and contributes to economic development efforts in Bloomington's urban core. The Enterprise Zone operates in accordance with Indiana State Code and offers a variety of programs to Zone businesses, including low interest loans for business rehabilitation and historical façade improvements, tax deductions and entrepreneurial assistance. In addition to technological and educational grants, BUEA offers scholarships to college or university students residing in the Zone to increase those students' economic independence.For more information on BUEA's programs and incentives, visit their website at or call 812.349.3418.

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