Martha's House Services

Emergency Shelter Services

Residents from Monroe, Lawrence, and Owens counties can stay for up to 120 days, while they work to stabilize their lives. Programs and services offered include:

Job Training Program

This program provides assistance with identifying potential employers, writing resumes, and developing interviewing skills. The program also provides haircut vouchers and appropriate clothing for interviews. For anyone experiencing a difficult time finding employment, the staff will help place them with a nonprofit organization to help build their resume and reference list.

Transportation Services

Local bus tickets for appointments and job interviews are distributed to residents at their weekly case management meeting. For those in good health, Martha's House provides bicycles through its bicycle lending library. These bikes are available for residents to keep after they leave shelter.

Healthy Living on a Budget Program

This five-week program is held four times throughout the calendar year. It includes cooking classes, a cookbook containg several recipes from the class that can be made for under $4, and an instructional tour of the local YMCA.

Graduate Self-sufficiency program

This program is available to individuals leaving shelter who have employment and want to continue receiving case management support. Requirements for participation are determined with the case manager.

In addition to these optional programs that support individuals as they move toward self-sufficiency, the agency also provides weekly case management to help individuals gain or improve employment, find stable housing, and access and navigate mainstream services. A permanent supportive housing program is also in place for chronically homeless individuals with disabilites and for famililes whose head-of-household has a disability.

Martha's House History

Through the efforts of the Perry Township Board, the township trustee, and concerned community members, Martha's House was established in 2002, to address the need for emergency shelter for residents of Bloomington, Monroe County, and surrounding communities after the close of Shelter, Inc. Since 2004, the organization has provided basic needs of shelter, food, clothing, and personal hygiene supplies to 1,392 unduplicated residents and provided 36,748 nights of stay.

While during its initial years of operation the agency effectively supported many residents in crisis, the staff of Martha's House observed that some residents consistently returned each year needing additional support. They determined that to meet the agency's goal of ending chronic homelessness would require extending services and developing community partnerships to more effectively address the root causes of this problem. In 2006, the agency received HUD funding and began to address the need for housing for chronically homeless individuals (anyone homeless for a year or homeless at least four times in three years) as well as for families struggling to remain housed and intact.

Currently, the staff and board of Martha's House continues to evaluate the effectiveness of its programs and services in an effort to best serve the men and women in our community who are in crisis and experiencing homelessness.