Volunteers at the Shalom Community Center in Bloomington are helping move homeless people into more permanent housing.
Daren Stierwalt has been homeless for more than three years. Because he has a history of substance abuse, he has not qualified for government housing and has been spending much of his time at the Shalom Center’s day shelter.
But that changed Monday when he was moved into the permanent housing facility on the south side of Bloomington called Walnut Grove.
“Things happen,” he says. “I got sick, so I’ve been there. I’ve had a home before. Three and a half years on the streets and being used to that and then getting back into a home, it feels good again.”
Stierwalt’s new home is being funded by a $1 million HUD grant the Shalom Center received last year.
Shalom Center Executive Director Forrest Gilmore says Stierwalt is only the first of many people who will move into the complex.
“The idea is to help them start with housing, which just makes such a huge difference for people who’ve been homeless to put them housing and help them have a home because that just stabilizes their whole life,” he says.
Walnut Grove will house up to 34 individuals or couples and six families.