Mary Goetze, founder of Kids with Absent Parents (KAP), estimates there are 1,000 children in Bloomington with an incarcerated parent. It’s a largely hidden population. “It’s not something families go around and announce,” she says.
Due to an increase in abuse and neglect cases in Monroe County, more than 100 children have been waiting for a CASA—a Court Appointed Special Advocate—to represent their interests in court. So the Monroe County CASA office has created a new position to monitor the children until permanent advocates become available.
When Brian Richardson was being raised by a single mother in Saginaw, Michigan, he knew that as a black youth attending schools with poor reputations, conventional wisdom held that he wasn’t going to go very far in life. Richardson had other plans. Today, he’s assistant director of diversity and inclusion at the Indiana University School of Public Health and the founder of a mentoring program for young men at Fairview Elementary School.
Theodore Clement Steele (1847–1926), the famous American impressionist painter, is well known for his Indiana landscapes. (What many may not know is that Steele was also a skilled portrait painter, and this actually generated the majority of his income.)
Kathy Gutowsky and Randi Cox have a history of environmental activism that dates back to the late 90s when they met on a recycling committee. Now they have turned that interest into a business, Green Camino Curbside Composting.
When Monroe County United Ministries (MCUM) Director of Operations Jen Smallwood enters a 2-year-old classroom, a toddler rushes up to her with a big smile and hugs her leg. “He’s a friendly one,” she says.
Getting married, having children, and raising them to an age where they can set out on their own is something many couples envision. When a child is born with a disability, families learn to adjust and, with the help of a supportive community, a new path is laid out.
South Central Indiana Housing Opportunities (SCIHO) is working to make housing more affordable for renters who pay above-average rents while earning below-average wages. Executive Director Deborah Myerson says the entire community benefits when there is a range of housing options. “What’s the quality of life in Bloomington if only wealthy people can afford to live here?” Myerson says.
Some plants, like some people, are naturally more generous than others. In spring, we are besotted by exuberant blooming plants, as all the world seems new again and blossoms abound in our gardens. But we need to look ahead and ensure that our gardens continue to be full of beautiful flowers once the spring flush has subsided.
After Bloomington interior designer Lauren Cowan worked with older clients who wanted their new-home builds to include age-friendly features, she and her husband, Peter Cowan, decided to start a new business. “Age-friendly designing is stimulating and meaningful,” says Lauren.
While international musicians congregate in Bloomington each autumn for the Lotus World Music & Arts Festival, a special program for children brings that same diverse cultural experience into area schools. In September, one musical guest, Betsayda Machado y La Parranda el Clavo, visited Fairview Elementary School for a performance through the Lotus Blossoms Educational Outreach program.