Seeking Shelter

1 - a front LW & OR

The Bloomington Catholic Worker is both an intentional community AND a place to live for people who are experiencing homelessness.  We typically house men, women and married couples without children.  If you are in need of shelter, please call us at 812-339-4456.  

If we have any beds available, we will schedule you for an interview on a Wednesday.  The interview typically lasts a half hour.  We will ask you questions about your physical and mental health, your history with drug/alcohol addiction, and whether or not you have any criminal convictions. Our foremost concern is that you are honest with us, communicate well, and will be a trustworthy guest.

What could I expect to receive as a Guest?  

As a guest, you can expect to receive a welcoming, relatively peaceful and clean place to live.  You will be warmly invited to eat meals with the community Monday – Friday.  You will be warmly invited to participate in community prayer on weekday mornings, but you are not required to attend.  

You can expect to receive help and hospitality according to your needs and requests.  We want to help you to the extent that you desire our help.  If you ask for more than we can give, we will be straightforward about our limits and may ask you to seek help from other sources.

You can expect to receive a monthly bus pass.  In some cases, depending on your income and expenses, you may be required to purchase it on your own.  Or we may offer you a $15.00 subsidy to purchase the pass.

What are the expectations of a Guest?

First and foremost we expect our households to be safe and sober homes.  What this means for you is that you must be free of drug and alcohol use during your time with us.  It also means that you should act and speak non-violently – no threats, no cussing, kid-appropriate topics, no physical violence, no weapons.  We expect that you will respect the other guests, community members, and children.  

Some of the houses have House Out Hours 9am – 5pm daily.  We expect that you will return by 10pm, or else you will communicate what time you will return or that you are staying elsewhere for the night.  You are welcome to spend a few days elsewhere on occasion, but we ask that you communicate your absence with us ahead of time.  And if you start to stay somewhere else more than you stay here, we will ask you more about that situation and may ask you to leave if we feel you are not really using the bed we have offered you.

As mentioned above, we require you to eat dinner with us every Thursday night.  We make very few exceptions to this rule, and ask that you schedule your work so that you may attend.

You will be expected to contribute to the cleanliness and orderliness of our houses.  This means you will be asked to do a few chores – ranging from help with dishes to setting out the recycling to mowing the lawn.  If you would like to do more, we welcome your help!

What is the time frame for a Guest?

You may stay with us for up to one year.  Your stay with us begins with a two-week trial period.  If all goes well for you and us, we will extend your stay by two months.  We will have an official check in after two months and again, if all goes well, extend your stay for another two months, and so on up to a year.  This is subject to change. 

If at any point we begin to lose trust in you, we will communicate our concern immediately.  And if you are not able to maintain sobriety while living with us, we will ask you to move out of the house.  

What about work and school?  

You may certainly work or attend school while staying with us.  We have found, however, that over-night work does not fit well with our community life.  So you may not work an over-night shift and stay here.  Otherwise, we fully support your work and school endeavors!

What about money?  

We do not ask guests to contribute to rent or utility bills at the Worker.  However, if you are working, we will require you to save a percentage of your income to use once you leave here.  Generally we require you to save 50%, either by setting up a savings account and showing us your bank statement, or by giving us the cash to keep in a lock box.

Other questions?  Call us at 812-339-4456 and we’ll help however we are able.

Other shelters in Bloomington:

A Friend’s Place: Shelter for Men and Women without children; 812-332-1444, check-in at 5:15pm daily; 919 S. Rogers Street

Wheeler Mission: Shelter for Men; 812-333-1905; check in 5-7pm daily; 215 S. Westplex Drive

Agape House: Shelter for Women and Children; 812-334-4047; call for an interview; 400 S. Opportunity Lane

New Hope Family Shelter: Shelter for families; 812-334-9840; call for availability

Shalom Community Center: Day Shelter for Men, Women, and Families: 812-334-5728; Open 8-4, M-F; Breakfast, lunch, showers, laundry, casework