In McLean County it is estimated that we have more than 175 people that are considered homeless on any given day for many different reasons. It is certainly possible that you may know someone (maybe a friend, ex-neighbor or past co-worker) that is experiencing homelessness. Because our community is known to be caring and
compassionate, there are a few organizations in town that are established to provide shelter, food and case management to those that find themselves needing assistance. One such organization,The Salvation Army, provides this service through the Safe Harbor Shelter. Located at 601 W. Washington St in Bloomington, this shelter has existed since 1991 and strives to provide long term temporary services with efforts to identify the barriers that caused the homelessness and move people to self-sufficiency.
Like all worthy programs and shelter homes, the success of their services is dependent upon the support of the community. Safe Harbor relies upon people to donate supplies, volunteer time and provide financial contributions. A wonderful opportunity to donate supplies is to participate in an event taking place on Saturday, September 29, 2012 called Arm the Harbor. This event, sponsored by the Heartland Community College Nursing Club, Loomis Armored Services, Farrell’s Extreme Body Shaping and Mid-Illini Credit Union is providing a means for the community to drive thru and drop off items at Heartland Community College that are needed at the Safe Harbor Homeless Shelter. The drop off time is from 10 am -2 pm and the beauty is that you don’t even have to get out of your car!
Information about the event was recently aired on HOI-19’s Good Company show. If you missed the show or are interested in learning more about the details on Arm the Harbor and how you can help the homeless, here is a link to the interview: http://www.Arm the Harbor.
A list of some items needed is:
- 8 oz. Styrofoam coffee cups
- Paper plates, bowls, napkins
- Silverware (plastic knives, spoons, forks)
- Oven mitts, pot holders
- Dish liquid, dish towels
- Laundry detergent
- Bathroom cleanser
- Garbage bags, 40-45 gallons
- Personal hygiene products (razors, shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, foot powder, lotion, etc.)
- Towels, especially bath towels
- Winter wear (hats, gloves, scarves, thermal underwear, etc.)
- Toilet paper
- Latex gloves
- White copy machine paper
- Gift cards to Sam’s Club or Wal-Mart
Helping others is truly a way of expressing your kindness to assist in an unfortunate time of need. There are times when everyone either needs a little help or is in a position to help someone else. At MICU, we will continue to support our local community with time, service and money. For more information about the Safe Harbor Shelter and how you can volunteer or provide a financial donation, go to http://www.sabloomington.org/.