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Vickie Provine
Homeward Bound

Corinne Reynolds
Homeward Bound

Darrell Ann Stone
Homeward Bound

Ryan Piurek
IU Media Relations

Last modified: Thursday, March 9, 2006

IU Bloomington community to walk to fight homelessness

March 9, 2006

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Members of the Indiana University Bloomington community will have the opportunity to raise money for the homeless by participating in Homeward Bound, a walk benefiting the homeless as well as affordable housing agencies in south central Indiana.

Last year's Homeward Bound walk in Bloomington raised $48,500 and attracted 500 walkers to Third Street Park. The event is designed to help raise awareness of homelessness throughout Indiana.

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The fourth annual "Homeward Bound: Indiana's 5K Walk to Provide Housing and Fight Homelessness" will be held on Sunday, April 2. The event is scheduled to begin at noon at Third Street Park in downtown Bloomington with festivities and guest speakers. The walk will kick off at 2 p.m. Bloomington will join eight other communities across the state in participating in Homeward Bound.

Homeward Bound is a local collaboration between IU, the City of Bloomington and 13 local social service agencies. All of the proceeds from the event will be used locally to benefit agencies which provide shelter, food and emergency assistance for people experiencing homelessness in Monroe County.

The event is expected to build on the success of last year's effort. Last year's walk in Bloomington raised $48,500 and attracted 500 walkers to Third Street Park. It is also designed to help raise awarness of homelessness throughout the state.

According to event organizers:

  • Approximately 18,000 people in Indiana are homeless on any given night.
  • About 201 individuals in Bloomington reside in homeless shelters on any given night.
  • 20,095 individuals in Monroe County live below 100 percent of the federal poverty level, and are considered low-income.
  • 19 percent of low-income Monroe County residents report that having enough money to pay rent is a major problem. For these families, homelessness is a serious threat.
  • Monroe County's housing costs are among the highest in the state, while our median income is one of the lowest.

Summer Vergiels, a local spokesperson for Homeward Bound, said, "On any given day, over half the United States population live paycheck to paycheck. These folks could suddenly find themselves without the means to pay the bills due to unforeseen expenses or job loss. No one is exempt from homelessness."

On any given night, approximately 18,000 people in Indiana are homeless and about 201 individuals in Bloomington reside in homeless shelters.

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"Why Will You Walk?" is the theme of this year's Homeward Bound event. Members of the public can visit to read stories of local residents and their reasons for supporting Homeward Bound. Teams of family, friends and co-workers are invited to participate in the walk.

This year's benefiting agencies are: Amethyst House, Area 10 Agency on Aging, Center for Behavioral Health, Community Kitchen, Hoosier Hills Food Bank, Martha's House, Mental Health Alliance, Middle Way House, Monroe County United Ministries, Mother Hubbard's Cupboard, Shalom Community Center, Stepping Stones and Youth Services Bureau. Homeward Bound is sponsored locally by the City of Bloomington and IU.

To register for the walk or for more information, go to or contact event co-chairs Vickie Provine at 812-349-3505,, or Darrell Ann Stone at 812-855-4311,