BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — For 19 years The Shalom Community Center has been providing a helping hand to those in need. Within the past year they opened their day center on the weekends for the first time thanks to extra funding.
The center is hoping the funding comes through again this year. Since The Shalom Day Center has opened up on the weekends it’s cost about $80,000 to $85,000 to keep it running and Executive Director Forrest Gilmore is hoping to receive the same amount of money this year.
"We have families that come in. Children that are homeless. We deal with a lot of people where a lot of them are experiencing extreme poverty, so serious challenges," Gilmore said.
The Shalom Community Center is one of the places in Bloomington that helps people who fall on hard times.
“We do everything from that first point of emergency all the way up to helping people get back on their feet. This means meals, shelters, showers, and mail are just some of our basic services," Gilmore said.
About a year ago the Shalom Community Day Center went from operating 5 days a week to 7 to serve people experiencing homelessness and poverty. Gilmore said it's been funded by a community effort from the city, the county, and from businesses in the community.
Gilmore said everyday they serve close to 300 people. He wants to continue to serve on the weekends because he’s seen how many people benefit from them being open those days.
"This is a city kind of driven agenda and so we are really hoping the city will continue to be supportive and push it forward; and see that it happens. We would love to be open 7 days a week, but we also recognize the funding challenge," Gilmore explained.
Gilmore is hopeful they will receive the funding to stay open on the weekends.