Monday Morning News May 16, 2016


     Recently Middle Way House’s ‘The Rise,' an award winning, national model transitional housing program for abused women and their children, learned that its $174,000 annual HUD grant had been withdrawn, and withdrawn retroactively back to February 1, 2016.  Middle Way supporters and director, Toby Strout, have noted that HUD had initially assured MWH that despite their support for Housing First and Permanent Housing models, HUD would continue support for transitional housing programs for battered women. The state HUD director assured Middle Way that the decision had been made at the federal level.
     Middle Way House provides safe, affordable housing to over 100 women and children annually. It consistently has scored highly (98th percentile) in HUD scoring, and has scored higher than Tier One programs - those that fit the new ‘preferred’ model - and higher than another Tier Two program that did receive funding.
    Strout called this a failure to be frank about the HUD decision making process, and asserted it was contrary to HUD’s desire for funding decisions to be made locally, and its insistence that housing providers create and participate in the Continuum of Care (CoC) groups for that purpose.  At the local level Middle Way House was a clear favorite, at the state CoC level it ranked third.
     Strout has asked for all familiar with the work that has been done by Middle Way House to contact their elected representatives (See ACTION ITEM below). While Middle Way will look for solutions, this is a major challenge, one that is not easily met in a relatively small community by an agency that serves six, largely rural counties with high percentages of unemployed and impoverished citizens.
     Again, help by contacting your legislators at the addresses below at the end of this newsletter!



From DWC member, Bloomington Township Trustee Lillian Henegar
Sunday, March 22, THE RAISING OF AMERICA, 4 pm.

We all want what’s best for our children, so why has the well being of American children fallen to 26th place in the world?
     In an effort to answer that question and to build community consensus, Building a Thriving Compassionate Community (BTCC) is sponsoring a FREE film screening of THE RAISING OF AMERICA: Early Childhood and the Future of Our Nation, Sunday May 22, 2016, 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm, at the WonderLab Museum, 308 W. 4th Street, 2nd Floor.  
     The film will be followed by a panel discussion connecting the issues raised in the film to the real world in Bloomington and Monroe County.  HT Editor Bob Zaltsberg will moderate and the panelists include: Shirley Payne, Children's Special Health Care Services; Mary Balle, Child-Adolescent Psychiatric Clinical Nurse Specialist; Cathy Fuentes-Rohwer, Chair of the Indiana Coalition for Public Education-Monroe County & South Central Indiana; Indiana State Representative Matt Pierce, District 61, and Erin Predmore, Monroe County United Ministries.  From 4:00-5:00 pm, attendees will be able to tour the "Your Amazing Brain" exhibit at the Museum (at no charge!).  REGISTRATION is limited, sign up to attend at
     For more information about BTCC - a fabulous group of human beings who came together because we care, go to

2016 Citizens' Academy Class
To encourage more civic involvement through a basic understanding of Bloomington’s city services, the Housing and Neighborhood Development Department developed the Citizens' Academy. The Academy is a nine-week program that provides thirty participants with an interactive learning experience about City services, programs and responsibilities.  Through the sessions with various City Departments, the participants learn about the challenges to city government, budget limitations, day-to-day operations and mandates.  Please feel free to submit an Online Application. For more information, you may contact Vickie Provine via phone (812.349.3505) or email ([email protected]) should you have further questions. 2016 Classes will be held every Thursday, Sept. 1 through Oct. 27, 6-8 p.m

2016-2017 Emerging Leaders Applications Now Being Accepted for the Indiana Democratic Party
In its fifth year, the Emerging Leaders Project is a free, year-long program designed to engage up-and-coming Democrats from across the state who have the potential and interest in being party leaders and elected officials. Over the course of the year, the 40 men and women (under age 40) who are selected to participate, will attend in-person training sessions in Indianapolis focusing on various aspects of campaign management, public policy and party building. Along with the knowledge gained from the training, class members will connect with Democrats from all corners of Indiana. Developed and operated by volunteers, the program is supported by a generous donation from former State Party Chair Robin Winston and former State Party Executive Director Pat Terrell.
Please click here for more information on the Emerging Leaders Project and to submit an application before the June 15th deadline.


Monroe County Democrats' Club Lunch
Tuesday, May 17, 11:30 start time for lunch... at Bobby's Colorado Steakhouse
     Penny Githens, candidate for State Representative in District 60, is the featured speaker for Tuesday's lunch.
We cannot take Penny's candidacy for granted, nor can we wait until Fall to start helping her build her campaign structure. Come hear what she's done to create presence in all areas of her district and what you can do to help her win back this district so that Monroe County can have a true representative in the state house! EMAIL [email protected] to let Marcia know you're coming!

State Delegates Meeting
Monday, May 23, City Council Chambers (401 N. Morton)
     All Monroe County Delegates to the state convention are urged to attend a meeting on Monday, May 23rd to discuss plans for the convention and coordinate logistics. You will need to bring your assessment fee of $35.  You can make the check payable to "Monroe County Democratic Party".  If you are unable to cover that expense, please let us know and we will find a sponsor for you. Questions: contact Mark Fraley at [email protected]
Please contact your elected officials!
Let them know that you are not pleased with the huge reduction in Middle Way House's HUD funding!

Senator Dan Coats (R- IN)             202-224-5623    202-228-1820     

Senator Joe Donnelly (D- IN)         202-224-4814    202-224-5011     

Rep Todd Young (R - 09)                202-225-5315    202-226-6866     

Do you have news items? Send your items of interest to us at [email protected]
Deadline for MMN is noon on Sunday.

Democratic Women's Caucus