Home Sweet Home Opens New Junction Community Center in Bloomington

A nonprofit that serves people who are homeless, poor or food insecure cut the ribbon for its new community center on Thursday afternoon.

Home Sweet Home Ministries’ new space, called The Junction, has opened at 301 E. Oakland Ave., Bloomington, in the former location of Mission Mart. It’s just south of downtown Bloomington.

Back when the pandemic first hit, Home Sweet Home decided to shut down its resale. They needed to reduce the store’s financial losses at a difficult time for retail, so that essential Home Sweet Home services – shelter and food for people experiencing homelessness – were not impacted.

He put some of that former resale space to good use with the Bread For Life Food Co-Op, which opened last May. But he didn’t quite know what to do with the rest.

Community outreach manager Samantha Williams said they asked their customers what they wanted.

“And the results we got was (they wanted) a place where people could hang out in the warmer months and stay warm in the colder months,” Williams said. “COVID has shaken up a lot of things, and we weren’t really sure where we were going with this space. We landed on this community hub – a place where we can bring together different entities and people at once.

In other words, a place to feel safe, to be comfortable.

Williams says it will be more than just a place to hang out. They actively work to partner with other local agencies and organizations to offer services such as continuing education courses, legal assistance, life skills courses, and more.

“None of them are quite set in stone. We’re still in our early days,” Williams said.

The inauguration and inauguration took place on Thursday afternoon.

“If you are looking to help, tell your friends, tell your family, tell your colleagues to come here and maybe sit down with some of our closest friends and neighbors. Play a game. Have a cup of coffee. And get to know each other and have a good time,” Williams said.

Jill E. Washington