The resources below serve Bloomington and Monroe County, with additional links provided to state and national resources. Please contact us with any additions or corrections.
South Central Community Action Program SCCAP Energy Assistance provides assistance with summer and winter fuel bills for households in Brown, Monroe, Morgan and Owen counties. During cold winter months, this program helps prevent utility companies from shutting off home heating service to low-income families. During hot summer months, the Energy Assistance Program provides limited funds for the purchase of fans, distributed at the local level.
2-1-1 is a free and confidential service that helps Hoosiers across Indiana find the local resources they need.
Phone: Dial 2-1-1 or 1-866-211-9966 (available 24/7)
Text: Text your ZIP code to 898-211 (available Mon-Fri 8am-5pm)
Other local social service providers who may help with utility payments:
- Monroe County United Ministries: 812-339-3429
- Shalom Community Center: 812-334-5728
- Salvation Army: 812-336-4310
- Saint Vincent De Paul: 812-961-1510
- Emmanuel Baptist Church: 812-824-2768
- Sherwood Oaks Christian Church: 812-334-0206
- Trinity Episcopal Church: 812-336-4466
The Bloomington Housing Authority provides housing assistance to over 2,500 Monroe County households each year. The BHA operates three affordable housing communities and provides more than 1,300 Housing Choice Vouchers, also known as Section 8, that allow income eligible families to rent in the private market. Along with housing assistance, the BHA maintains active service coordination programs including the Family Self-Sufficiency Program and Step Up Program.
- Other Public Housing Agencies
City of Bloomington – Housing and Neighborhood Development Department(HAND) handles complaints and inspections for rental housing in the city limits, and enforces the Rental And Lodging Program in Title 16 of the Bloomington Municipal Code. Visit the HAND office to look up complaint and violation files for a unit you may wish to rent in the City of Bloomington.
Indiana 2-1-1 for information and assistance with food, utilities, aging issues, counseling and finding safety from violent situations.
Phone: Dial 2-1-1 or 1-866-211-9966 (available 24/7)
Text: Text your ZIP code to 898-211 (available Mon-Fri 8am-5pm)
Indiana Township Trustees are elected people whose duties include helping low-income persons in their township with basic necessities including rent, utility bills, medicine, food, clothing, and medical expenses. Call to find out if you qualify.
Township Trustees in Monroe County
- Bean Blossom 812-935-7174
- Benton 812-339-6593
- Bloomington 812-336-4976
- Clear Creek 812-824-7225
- Indian Creek 812-824-4981
- Perry 812-336-3713
- Polk 812-837-9446
- Richland 812-876-2509
- Salt Creek 812-837-9696
- Van Buren 812-825-4490
- Washington 812-876-1158
Monroe County Clerk has court records that can show if a landlord has been sued, especially by tenants.
Rapid Re-Housing (through the Shalom Community Center) helps people experiencing homelessness move into homes as quickly as possible. Providing a combination of short-term financial assistance security deposits, rent, utilities, moving expenses, application fees, etc.) and supportive case management, our rapid re-housing program works to get people out of the shelters and off the streets and into new homes where they are most likely to succeed and thrive.
Monroe County United Ministries offers coaching and resource assistance to families and individuals of the Monroe County community who are experiencing hardship and make sure that these crises don’t have to leave families hungry, cold, or faced with utility shut-off or eviction.
New Hope for Families helps families impacted by homelessness regain and maintain stable housing through a variety of services and provides accredited early childhood development aimed at breaking the cycle of homelessness and poverty.
Shalom Community Center is an all-inclusive resource center and daytime shelter in Bloomington, Indiana for people who are living in poverty and experiencing hunger, homelessness, and a lack of access to basic life necessities.
South Central Indiana Community Action Program (SCCAP) operates an array of programs which include, but are not limited to: Energy Assistance, Head Start/Early Head Start, Weatherization, Thriving Connections, Section 8 Housing, Health Coverage Assistance, Growing Opportunities, Affordable Rental Housing, and Family Development/Self-Sufficiency.
Monroe County Habitat for Humanity seeks to eliminate poverty housing by building decent, affordable homes in partnership with qualifying families.
Middle Way House works to empower survivors of domestic violence, human trafficking and sexual assault by providing shelter, legal services, housing, and advocacy services. 24-hour Help and Crisis Line, Linea de Ayuda: (812) 336-0846
St. Vincent de Paul Furniture Distribution is an all-volunteer organization that collects donated furniture and appliances and distributes free of charge to those in need. SVdP also provides community resource information and emergency financial help. SVdP Society collects and distributes donated furniture at our warehouse on the corner of Jackson and W 17th St., Bloomington, IN 47404. We will visit the client, fill out a furniture voucher, and submit that electronically to our data base. The client comes to our warehouse on Saturday morning, 8:30 AM, and when the name is called, will go about with a volunteer to select furniture. If the item(s) is not there, they can return each Saturday until the list is completed.
The City of Bloomington’s Human Rights Commission is designed to enforce Bloomington’s Human Rights Ordinance in a fair and timely manner, to educate community members about their rights and responsibilities under various civil rights laws.
Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana (FHCCI) is a private, non-profit fair housing organization founded in 2011. Its mission is to ensure equal housing opportunities by eliminating housing discrimination through advocacy, enforcement, education and outreach. The FHCCI service area includes Monroe County.
Call, write or visit the Indiana Civil Rights Commission within 365 days of the date in which an alleged act of discrimination occurred and describe the situation you feel was discriminatory.
Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home [PDF] Exposure to lead paint can lead to health problems. These dangers can affect almost anyone, but small children are at a particularly high risk. Lead paint can cause problems with hearing, growth, reading and learning. It can also cause other problems such as headaches or high blood pressure.
- State of Indiana – Tenant Obligations — Indiana Code 32-31-7
- State of Indiana – Landlord Obligations — Indiana Code 32-31-8
Legal services below are free or sliding scale for low-income households. Providers offer a range of civil and family law services. Please contact us with any additions or corrections.
Child Support, Monroe County Prosecutor offers legal assistance in child support enforcement for $25. Services are free for persons receiving TANF, Medicaid, Hoosier Healthwise benefits.
Address: 214 W. 7th Street Suite 110
Counsel in the Court: District 10 Pro Bono Project Collaboration with Monroe Circuit Court
Charlotte T. Zietlow Justice Center, 3rd floor Hallway, 301 N. College Ave. Bloomington, Indiana Limited legal assistance and help with forms available on a drop in basis. The help and advice will generally not be a substitute for full representation by an attorney. Please bring any paperwork relevant to your case.
- Family Law Issues (child custody, divorce, parenting time, support, paternity, guardianships, adoption, name change): Fridays from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
- Collection issues (proceedings supplemental, sued or being sued in smalf claims for money; does NOT include eviction (unless you have a judgment against you which you are having trouble paying): Fridays from 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
District 10 Pro Bono Project assists in the placement of cases with Pro Bono attorneys to provide legal assistance to people who could not otherwise afford it. A variety of cases accepted including family law, housing, credit issues, and public benefits. Free walk-in legal clinics, where prospective clients can speak with a volunteer attorney and receive advice or help with forms. The service area includes Clay, Greene, Hendricks, Lawrence, Monroe, Morgan, Owen, Putnam, Sullivan and Vigo Counties.
Phone intake: Mondays 10:00 am to 12:00 p.m. and Thursdays 2:00 pm -5:00 p.m.
HELP Legal Aid Clinic and Government Benefit Clinic provides assistance on primarily civil matters, but can make referrals on criminal matters. The Benefits Clinic can help with applying for benefits such as food stamps, SSI, etc.
Address: Shalom Center, 620 South Walnut Street
Walk-In: Monday- Friday 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Phone: 812-334-5728, 812-330-1159, 812-330-1175
Indiana Judicial Branch Self-Service Legal Center has information on representing yourself in court, getting legal help, alternative dispute resolution, and legal research.
Indiana Legal Services (ILS) is a not-for-profit law firm and the largest provider of free civil legal assistance to eligible low-income people throughout the state of Indiana. ILS helps clients who are faced with legal problems that harm their ability to have such basics as food, shelter, income, medical care or personal safety. The Bloomington office serves Bartholomew, Brown, Clay, Greene, Jackson, Lawrence, Monroe, Morgan, Orange, Owen, Parke, Putnam, Sullivan, and Vigo counties.
Phone: 812-339-7668 or 1-800-822-4774
- Family Law: Tuesdays from 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm.
- Non Family Law issues: Tuesdays from 1:30-3:30 pm and Thursdays from 10 to 12:00 pm.
- In emergency, an applicant may request expedited service when calling the main number.
Indiana University Community Legal Clinic Legal Services are primarily in the area of family law for low-income Monroe County residents. Clients are responsible for court fees. The clinic generally only takes cases in mid January and late August Phone:812-855-9229 Indiana University Student Legal Services provides IU-Bloomington students with advice and representation in landlord-tenant matters, including Security Deposit Refunds and Disputes, Habitability Issues, Evictions, Subleases, and Lease Analysis. Legal representation is available for most civil cases (including small claim, divorce, other). All IU Bloomington students who are currently enrolled and have paid student activity fee are eligible for services at no cost.
Address: 703 E. 7th Street
Application Process: Students may apply for services through the website or may walk in during weekly hours of 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Indiana University Protective Order Project is a law student-directed project at the Indiana University Maurer School of Law designed to help victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking obtain civil protective orders from the court, with the goal of preventing further abuse, both by restraining the abuser and by empowering the victim. POP utilizes the skills of law students, the advice and assistance of private volunteer attorneys, and the resources of Middle Way House, to serve those seeking protective orders in Monroe and surrounding counties.
Address: Law School—Lower level room 010, on the corner of E. Third and Indiana Ave., Bloomington, Indiana
Walk-in hours: Monday-Friday Noon-1:00pm and Monday-Thursday 5:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. 2.
Indiana University – Tenant Assistance Project (TAP) at the Indiana University Maurer School of Law provides legal help to tenants who face an immediate threat of eviction. TAP is only able to help tenants who are in court facing an immediate eviction hearing and only on the days that the Tenant Assistance Project is able to be at the Monroe County Justice Building (usually during the law school’s fall and spring semesters).
Justice Unlocked is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to assisting clients in matters of criminal defense, family law, sexual assault, domestic violence, landlord tenant law, and small claims. Client fees are based on a sliding scale system based on ability to pay.
Phone Number: 812-269-8277
Protective Order Assistance Project offers free assistance for individuals victimized by family violence, dating violence, sexual violence, or stalking seeking orders of protection from the court; filing petitions for protective orders; safety planning; referrals to community services. Protective order assistants do not give legal advice.
Walk-in only, no appointments
Hours: Monday-Friday, 8:00am – 4:00pm. Closed all Monroe County Government holidays. Address: Charlotte T. Zietlow Justice Center, Office of the Monroe County Clerk, 301 N. College Ave., Room 201, Bloomington, Indiana
Mediation/Conflict Resolution Services
Community and Justice Mediation Center (CJAM) is a private, nonprofit dedicated to providing an alternative for resolving conflict and promoting restorative justice. We are committed to making our services accessible to the vulnerable and under-served, and to be responsive to emerging community needs.
Phone: (812) 336-8677
Indiana University Children and Family Mediation Clinic assists with mediation of divorce and other family law matters with fees on a sliding scale.
Monroe County Family Court Program provides mediation and facilitation to assist in custody and visitation issues on a sliding scale to those of reduced means. Services can be assigned by the Court or individuals may call directly.
Mobile home communities are inspected and licensed by the Indiana State Department of Health – Environmental Public Health Division. The agency reviews and approves plans for construction or alteration of such communities.
Photo credit: Laurent Peignault/Unsplash