Wednesday, February 24, 2010

B2R Planning Committee

It's hard to believe, but Bags 2 Riches is less than 7 months away! September 24th, 2010!!

We had our first planning committee meeting last week and we look forward to a great event this year! Thanks to everyone who has signed on to help with the planning committee. We already have some dedicated and enthusiastic volunteers who will make this year's event very special.

If you have an interest in volunteering at B2R, want to make a handbag for the competition, want to recruit friends to make a handbag, or wish to join the planning committee, please email me at

Mentor Training

Please join us tonight for our Mentor Training (Part B). 6-8pm at Immanuel United Church of Christ, 402 E. Prospect Street. Learn how you can join us in our fight to prevent homelessness in Indianapolis!

We can always use more volunteers. Please call Bryan at 985-5041 for more details.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Homeless in the 'Burbs--It can Happen to Anyone

Homelessness in rural and suburban America is straining shelters this winter as the economy founders and joblessness hovers near double digits – a "perfect storm of foreclosures, unemployment and a shortage of affordable housing," in one official's eyes.

"We are seeing many families that never before sought government help," said Greg Blass, commissioner of Social Services in Suffolk County on eastern Long Island.

"We see a spiral in food stamps, heating assistance applications; Medicaid is skyrocketing," Blass added. "It is truly reaching a stage of being alarming."

The federal government is again counting the nation's homeless and, by many accounts, the suburban numbers continue to rise, especially for families, women, children, Latinos and men seeking help for the first time. Some have to be turned away.

"Yes, there has definitely been an increased number of turnaways this year," said Jennifer Hill, executive director of the Alliance to End Homelessness in suburban Cook County, Illinois. "We're seeing increases in shelter use along the lines of 30 percent or more."

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's annual survey last year found homelessness remained steady at about 1.6 million people, but the percentage of rural or suburban homelessness rose from 23 percent to 32 percent. The 2009 HUD report, which reflected the 12 months ending Sept. 30, 2008, also found the number of sheltered homeless families grew from about 473,000 to 517,000.

Greta Guarton, executive director of the Nassau-Suffolk Coalition for the Homeless on Long Island, led a recent group of about 40 volunteers to scour vacant lots and industrial parks for this year's HUD survey; results are expected in several months.

"One of the things that we've noticed is a lot more unsheltered, mostly men who claim this is the first time they've been homeless, who indicate that it's due to a loss of wages or loss of job, because of the economy," Guarton said.

**To read the full Associated Press article, Suburban Homeless: Rising Tide of Women, Families, 16 February, 2010. please click here.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Training Canceled/ Rescheduled

The mentor training for February 9th has been canceled due to inclement weather, including snowfall, high winds and drifting snow.

We will offer Part A of the training on February 16th from 6-8pm. Training will be held at Trusted Mentors' office, 872 Virginia Avenue. Part B remains scheduled for February 24th, 6-8pm at Immanuel UCC, 402 E. Prospect St.

If you have any questions, please contact us at or call the office at 985-5041.

Thank you for your understanding. Be Safe!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

February Trainnig Dates

Interested in learning more about Trusted Mentors, or how you can get involved as a mentor?

Please join us in February to learn how we are making a difference in our community and how you can join our efforts! We always have a need for new volunteers, and currently we have a need for men who are willing to become a trusted mentor. Hope you can join us!

Tuesday, February 9th, 6-8pm
Trusted Mentors Office
872 Virginia Avenue
(Part A)

Wednesday, February 24th, 6-8pm
Trusted Mentors Office
872 Virginia Avenue
(Part B)

A New Referring Agency--Connected by 25

Connected by 25 is an initiative of United Way of Central Indiana with a mission to ensure that foster care youth are educated, housed, financially stable, employed and connected to a support system by age 25. Trusted Mentors and C25 have partnered to recruit and train volunteers to mentor the young adults in the C25 program!

Beginning in 2010 C25 will begin referring young adults to Trusted Mentors. These young people will be matched with a mentor who will be there to be supportive as the mentee works to secure housing, find a job, establish financial literacy, or advance their education.

Young people leaving the foster care system are an at-risk population who will benefit from the strength of a mentor.
  • One in five emancipated youth will be homeless
  • Only 50% will have a high school diploma or G.E.D.
  • Nearly 50% will be unemployed
  • 25% will be arrested or incarcerated
Connected by 25 and Trusted Mentors are working to help emancipated youth overcome these challenges.

To learn more about Connected by 25 visit their website