Since 2011, New Hope for Families has sheltered families experiencing homelessness. Photo by Martin Boling

Editor’s note: The following is adapted from a press release from New Hope for Families. Bloom has republished it here with edits for style and clarity.

The community is invited to a free, public event on Friday, August 13, celebrating the first decade of New Hope for Families, which provides solutions for local children and families impacted by homelessness. The New Hope 10th Anniversary Celebration event is taking place outdoors on East 4th Street between South Washington and Lincoln streets in downtown Bloomington and begins at 5 p.m.

Attendees will enjoy an evening of family-friendly fun suitable for kids and adults, including hot-air balloon rides, a classic car show, live music, games, and other activities. Food and drinks—including burgers, hot dogs, ice cream, and birthday cake—will be served to attendees for free while supplies last. Music will be performed by blues band King Bee and The Stingers and country artist Hank Ruff beginning at 6:30 p.m. There will be a short program with speakers followed by birthday cake at 6 p.m. The event is expected to conclude around 8:30 p.m. There is no cost to attend and prior registration is not required. A limited amount of free parking will be available on site.

Over the past 10 years, New Hope for Families has emerged as a community leader in social services for families in crisis. New Hope is the only place in Monroe County where families with children can find emergency shelter together.

“Ten years ago, if a family with children in our community became homeless, there was nowhere for them to go,” recalls Emily Pike, New Hope’s executive director. “They had to sleep outside, sleep in their car, or separate from one another in order to sleep somewhere safer. In response to that need, a small group of community-minded people started New Hope for Families (at that time New Hope Family Shelter), and those families in crisis have had a place to go ever since.”

New Hope is currently located at 301 W. 2nd St. On April 12, the organization announced plans for a $5.75 million capital campaign to construct two new buildings at 1140 S. Morton St. One building will provide emergency shelter to 12 families, representing a 70% increase in the agency’s shelter capacity. The other building will house New Hope’s early childhood care and education programs, increasing the agency’s capacity from 16 to 48 children. Construction on the new site is now well underway and is expected to be “substantially complete” by December of this year.

 “This summer we are celebrating New Hope’s milestones, its founders, the community partners who have helped make it successful, and most of all, the 226 families who have been courageous enough to ask for help and find it at New Hope,” adds Pike.

The 10th anniversary event has been planned and organized by a committee of volunteers led by Chris Cockerham, a commercial real estate agent and owner of Cockerham Commercial. “For ten years, New Hope’s hardworking staff and dedicated volunteers have been quietly serving the community with little or no recognition or fanfare,” says Cockerham. “We thought it was about time to throw them a party!”

Other members of the August 13 event planning committee include Anne Bono, director of advocacy and special projects at Indiana University, and John Hurlow, founder of Hurlow Wealth Management. A car enthusiast, Hurlow is organizing the event’s car show. “We have over two dozen cars promised for our show, including several classic cars and some very special newer vehicles. There will be something for everyone.”

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