Shalom Community Center
The Shalom Community Center is Monroe County’s primary non-profit for daytime support of people experiencing homelessness and poverty. By bringing together more than 20 social service agencies, it serves as a central access point to empower people to develop their assets to the fullest extent possible. The Shalom Community Center bought and opened a new building in August 2010 to replace their offices, shelter and services split between the basements of First United Methodist Church and First Christian Church.
The services Shalom offers include: providing a mailing address, message service, outgoing phone calls, shower facility, laundry, long term and short term storage, emergency financial assistance, birth certificate assistance, case management, transportation assistance, and much more. There is an extensive outreach program where about 20 different agencies visit Shalom Community Center to talk to the guests about services they offer at their organization. The outreach program enables people to have more opportunities and resources available. There is also a hunger relief program that serves breakfast and lunch Monday through Friday.
In 2000, some members of the First United Methodist Church realized that people staying in emergency shelters in Bloomington had no place to go during the day when they were expected to be out of the shelter between 9am and 4pm. The church members partnered with a local emergency shelter to open a room in the church to provide a safe place to go during the day as well as offer coffee, newspapers, and a listening ear. This became known as Shalom Community Center, a joint program of Shelter, Inc. and the First United Methodist Church. It was named Shalom because Shalom means “welcome,” or “peace be upon you” in Hebrew.
In January of 2003, Shalom Community Center gained 501(c)3 nonprofit status and became an entity of its own. It has since significantly expanded its programs and services.
All of Shalom Community Center is located at 620 S. Walnut Street, just north of where Walnut and College Avenue merge. The ocher red building was formerly the home of Dan's Furniture. The offices are located in the upstairs level, while the lower level has the laundry, community rooms, kitchen, etc. The entrance is on the south side of the building.