Perry Township Board Meeting Notes

December 23, 2015


The meeting is called to order at 11:00am.


Members Present: Barb Sturbaum, Susie Hamilton, Jack Davis, Dan Combs


Non-members present: Pat Combs, Novella Shuck, Lauren Slavin



Operating Agreement with Shalom Community Center

Other Administrative Issues


Operating Agreement with Shalom Community Center:

So that Shalom Community Center can take over operation of the community shelter formerly known as Martha’s House at the beginning of 2016, our board needs to approve the operating agreement that has been drawn up between Shalom and the Township. A copy had been sent to the board for review and since then, the only change made has been a technical correction when referring to addresses 917 and 919 S. Rogers Street. There is also a clause in the operating agreement stating that all parties must review and, if needed, rework the contract in three months. This gives Shalom Community Center enough time to settle into operating the shelter and seeing if any un-addressed issues come up, like with maintenance, unexpected bills, etc. Right now, the Township will plow the parking lot and Shalom will take over shoveling show, and no one is sure how trash removal is happening, since no one is paying for it, but it is happening regardless.


There are manuals at Martha’s House regarding procedures on how to run things there, but there is no one master document. A clause in the contract states that within 6 months Shalom must complete a new manual containing information on client rights, appeal processes, etc.  Shalom has also promised that for the next 3 months they will not alter anything in procedures so that they can get a good look on how things are run, and can make all their recommendations in March. Funding-wise, Urban Enterprise Zone has donated funding for one year of shelter operations, and has pledged two additional years as matching funds. This fulfilled Shalom’s demand that the shelter have two years worth of funding identified before they agree to take over operations. In a way, this brings all the organizations full-circle, since it was Shelter, Inc that helped birth Shalom so many years ago.  


January 9, 2016 is the last day that shelter employees will be paid through United Way. After that, any remaining funds that United Way has for the shelter will be transferred to Shalom. Employees at the shelter will stay basically the same through the three-month evaluation period. Then it will be Shalom’s prerogative to hire and fire. Dan expressed his sincerest wish that the Township NEVER has to deal with a shelter organization turnover again. He advises the board members to keep their copies of the contract so that if anyone has changes they want to make in March, they can be addressed at that time. One thing the new contract will not do is change the sobriety or case management requirements for the shelter. Dan does think that the process for evicting or turning away an individual should be in the manual that Shalom puts together though.


Jack asked if the new manuals for the shelter will be first approved by the Township board, and Dan states that yes, they will. Jack also asks if donations to Shalom can be specifically allocated for the shelter. Dan states that now that Shalom has been granted the matching-fund donation, they will need to specify their donations in order to receive the matched funds.  Jack asks about the anti-discrimination clause (2.9.1)  and states he would like to see gender neutral restroom options available in the shelter. Discussion is held on that topic.


Barb moves that the board adopts the contract for Shalom to operate the Community Shelter, Jack seconds the motion, and all approve.



Emergency Assistance Program: The amount of money given in benefits has dropped tremendously this year. Dan states this may be due to the closure of Southern Winds Inn this spring. He states that caseworker Laura has suggested the Township adjust the maximum rent benefit levels to a more realistic number in accordance with the market. The board can consider this further later.


Employee Salary Adjustment: Dan states that he is planning a salary adjustment for caseworker Novella to correlate with her adding responsibility for the Township website and other social media work to her regular duties.


Plaques for Homelessness Work: Dan would like to present plaques to Mayor Kruzan, Darryl Neher, and Lisa Abbot, as well as to The Enterprise Zone in order to recognize the work that they have done for the issue of homelessness in Bloomington. The Board expressed their approval of that idea.


Barb adjourned the meeting at 11:18am




Susie Hamilton, Secretary





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Bloomington, IN



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