State Farm Neighborhood Assist ® 2018

The Eleos Center

Provide a safe place for homeless families in our community to address health and hygiene needs.

There are no facilities like this in our county of 135,000 people. This is a desperately needed service for the homeless individuals and families in our community. The Eleos Center (Eleos; Greek for mercy and compassion) will allow the homeless population to shower, wash clothing, receive mail and meet with service providers. The center will meet personal hygiene, health and safety concerns for those living on the street, in their cars, in abandoned homes, local tent city, etc. The Eleos Center will also function as a collaborative center for multiple organizations to pool resources and make the most efficient use of resources while not only meeting health and hygiene needs but helping individuals and families find sustainable housing and potentially reenter the workforce. Shower/Laundry/Mail needs are currently 100% unmet. Other needs are only partially met. This program will complete those needed services.

$25,000 will provide for remodeling of a facility, already owned by TCC and to purchase washers and dryers to meet these needs. Other organizations have committed to providing sustaining resources in the event this grant is received. These services are desperately needed in one of the poorest counties in Indiana and will be directed by the organization with an experienced and professional, compassionate staff who runs the only soup kitchen and only emergency shelter in Madison County. Hundreds of individuals will benefit from better hygiene and health. In addition, many homeless are ineligible for benefits needed to lift them out of homelessness without a mailing address. These resources are otherwise out of reach. The Eleos Center will provide for an address and these desperately needed services. Our data and multiple interviews with the targeted population indicates the Eleos Center will provide for the areas of greatest unmet needs for the homeless and marginalized in our community.

This will have a long-lasting and powerful impact. Our community has a high level of poverty and working poor. Homelessness and poverty are disproportionately represented in our county and are exacerbated by the lack of availability of these services. Shower and laundry facilities, access to health screenings, a mailing address are essential to providing for better health, improved job potential and a greater level of dignity. In addition, this facility will act as a rallying point for multiple organizations to collaborate to make more efficient use of limited resources and a greater impact on those experiencing the greatest need in our community.