What is the Interfaith Winter Shelter?

The Interfaith Winter Shelter (IWS) began in the late spring of 2009 when clergy and lay leaders from many faith communities came together to consider ways to respond to concerns for the health, safety, and well-being of men and women who are homeless in the Bloomington area. The project quickly snowballed and today involves more than twenty faith communities, more than 450 volunteers, and a number of public, private, and governmental entities working together to provide emergency winter shelter to Monroe County’s homeless individuals.

How have we been involved?

First United Church was one of the founding organizations of the Interfaith Winter Shelter. Beginning in 2010, we opened our building two or three nights a week to guests experiencing homelessness. In 2017-2018, we hosted guests on Monday nights, but no longer in our church building. The shelter board voted to move all the nights to the Wheeler Mission location on West Third Street, and the move took place in November. At the end of the winter, Wheeler Mission continued to include a low-barrier shelter through the year. In 2018-19, while the IWS Board continues to meet, Wheeler Mission will operate the shelter, with its own people directing it. First United Church is no longer hosting a night, but our members aged 17 and older are welcome to take this year’s volunteer training and to volunteer.

Click here:How to Get to Wheeler Mission Bloomington for the Interfaith Emergency Winter Shelter to see excellent photo directions, first to the main building and then to the women’s building.

If you have questions about volunteering for the IWS, please contact Don Watts.