Cook Medical Group pledged twenty-two thousand dollars in order to keep the Shalom Center open on the weekends.
This move comes after Mayor John Hamilton’s speech last Thursday, in which he presented steps the City of Bloomington plans to take toward tackling homelessness and drug abuse.
During his talk at the public library, Hamilton stated that the Safety, Civility and Justice Task Force would recommend the Shalom Center expand its hours to include weekends.
It was projected that the city government, county government and the private sector could split the estimated cost of sixty-five thousand dollars. Executive Director of the Shalom Center, Forrest Gilmore, said in an interview today that he views the recommendation and Cook’s pledge as a step forward.
Gilmore said the bulk of Cook Medical Group’s donation will go towards hiring weekend staff. While he predicts that this development will be beneficial, Gilmore said he hopes that the community won’t expect too much from the Shalom Center.
Mayor Hamilton said the expansion of hours at the Shalom center was one of many approaches the city is undertaking to combat homelessness and drug abuse.
Hamilton said the city is also putting together a team to disseminate information to the public.
County Commissioner Amanda Barge outlined some of the issues Monroe County is struggling with.
To address those concerns, Mayor Hamilton said the City will expand its internet based services.
Hamilton also announced during Thursday’s press conference that the city will be implementing a new community coordinating council.
Thursday’s press conference did not address steps the city is taking to combat the ongoing opioid epidemic in southern Indiana.
Hamilton said those issues will be addressed in full at the First Annual South Central Opioid Summit; a free, one-day event hosted by members of the county government and experts in the field. The Summit takes place on September twenty-eighth.