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Bloomington Shelter Without Leader During Winter Months

Teddy bear in bed at Martha's House

Winter is quickly approaching, and one agency some people depend on to stay warm will be without an executive director.

Martha’s House is a shelter in Bloomington that works to help families find permanent housing and become financially stable.  Bobbie Summers who has been the executive director for four years is planning to retire.  During her tenure, Summers extended the shelter's hours to seven days a week and added a bike lending program.

"Their voice really does make a difference, and I think saying that to people it is really important for someone who is marginalized, who is jumping through one hoop after another, hitting every wall that they can hit," Summers says. "The sense of your lack of power to really bring about change is really pretty significant, and it really can stop someone from feeling defeated."

Former resident Karen Lewis says she hopes the next director can persuade legislators to mandate affordable health insurance for everyone.

"Make sure that the resources are distributed to the right agencies and that they have resources available like computers and Internet access so that people can get the things that they need," Lewis says.

Summers last day will be December 23.

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