Wheeler Mission’s Bloomington Women’s shelter struggling, set to close


BLOOMINGTON- A lack of donations is forcing Wheeler Mission to close one of its shelters after nearly five years.

They say the lack of donations in Monroe County has forced them to make a tough decision to close the Bloomington Women’s Shelter.

“Money given by Indianapolis donors stays with our services in Indianapolis and the same with Bloomington. Bloomington just hasn’t kept pace with budget, unfortunately,” Wheeler Mission’s Executive VP of Advancement Steve Kerr said.

He said on any given night the shelter sees up to 30 women which is less than the number of people they serve at the Bloomington Men’s Shelter.

“The percentage of homeless men is higher than homeless women,” Kerr explained.

Since the need is greater for men Wheeler Mission felt this was their best option.

“We’re always sad to see beds go away. We understand people need them,” New Hope for Families Executive Director Emily Pike said.

New Hope for Families also has a shelter in Monroe County.

Pike said their donations have always been good. She believes the public isn’t as aware of Wheeler Mission’s presence in Bloomington.

“I think Wheeler had kind of a tough road in some ways. There were other and more established shelters here already,” Pike said.

Pike knows more than likely women staying at Wheeler Mission will have another place to go to.

“I’m grateful that in this particular case that doesn’t leave us with a population that won’t be served. There still is somewhere else for women to go,” Pike said.

Since the homeless population of men is increasing the building for the Bloomington shelter will be used to serve them.

“If the dollars are there our intent is to fully reopen for women and children again in Bloomington,” Kerr said.

Wheeler Mission has already started to transport some of the women to the shelter here in Indianapolis.

The Bloomington Women’s Shelter closes July 5th. Women can still go to the Bloomington Men’s shelter to get food and get help with services.

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