Understanding our challenge
Using data-driven analysis to provide a safe and civil environment for those who live, work and visit Bloomington
Bloomington has always been a community that cares.
For decades, our faith community, nonprofits, educators and local government have worked tirelessly to help those in need. We've hosted overnight shelters in church basements, offered counseling and medical help, and tackled policy issues like affordable housing and wage growth. However, recent challenges have demanded an even greater community response.
Like many cities around the nation, Bloomington has experienced the effects of the Great Recession, the opioid crisis, and homelessness. The CIty's Safety, Civility, and Justice (SCJ) Task Force was announced on August 11, 2016 in response to public concerns about aggressive panhandling and public safety in downtown Bloomington. This group, comprised of social service providers, downtown business owners, law enforcement, and members of the public, was tasked to form policy recommendations to address these issues in an inclusive and community-focused way. These issues do not exist in a vacuum. They have complex intersections that often defy easy categorization. That is why the SCJ Task Force recommended that the City of Bloomington pursue a metrics- and data-driven approach to these issues.
The Safety, Civility, and Justice Metrics team identified seven areas for measurement: Parks, Kirkwood Corridor/Downtown, Neighborhoods, Court System/First Responders, Social Services, City Funding/Economic Index, and Community Health. This website gathers data from an array of City of Bloomington departments, social service providers, nonprofits, medical centers, and economic vitality indicators in an effort to set baselines for each criterion and help improve our community's understanding of the aforementioned challenge.
Although we've made progress, this challenge will require a sustained, steady, community-wide effort. We'll update this site as we progress and gather feedback from the community. Our goal is to make our community as safe, civil, and just as possible.
Safety, Civility, and Justice Data Sets
Throughout this website you will find interactive data dashboards. You can manipulate data by right-clicking on a dashboard, and by left-clicking you can download data files, exclude data sets, and view specific records.
Click on the pictures below to view collections of data dashboards by topic.
On August 11, 2016, the City of Bloomington announced the Safe, Civil, and Just City Initiative in response to safety concerns in downtown Bloomington.
The Community Justice and Mediation Center (CJAM) Report details these concerns and outlines potential solutions.
The SCJ Task Force Report includes further recommendations.
UPDATES FROM THE CITY
"Cities around the nation are looking for solutions to address the opioid crisis, homelessness concerns and mental health care. I am confident that we will continue to meet these challenges with determination and with compassion, and continue to build a bright future for Bloomington and Bloomingtonians."
Mayor John Hamilton, July 27, 2017
February 1, 2018 Update
Mayor Hamilton, Police Chief Mike Diekhoff, and Community and Family Resources Director Beverly Calendar Anderson provided updates pertaining to the implementation of SCJ Task Force recommendations.
July 6, 2017 UPDATE
Mayor Hamilton, Police Chief Mike Diekhoff, and Community and Family Resources Director Beverly Calendar Anderson spoke about the City's efforts to implement the SCJ Task Force's final recommendations.
July 27, 2017 UPDATE
Mayor Hamilton, Police Chief Mike Diekhoff, and County Council Commissioner Amanda Barge gave an update on the City's progress and touched on the city and county response to the opioid crisis.
A TIMELINE OF EVENTS
The timeline below links to news articles from the Indianapolis Star, the Herald-Times, and national news organizations. Click the text and the corresponding article will open in a new window.
- September 1: Crawford Apartments opens, providing 25 furnished apartments for Shalom Center clients who have experienced long-term homelessness.
- November 18: Regulations on opioid prescriptions are tightened in Indiana following a directive from the federal government.
- September 25: The Indiana State Medical Association establishes opioid prescription rules for physicians.
- November 8: The Shalom Center launches a five-year plan to end chronic homelessness, family homelessness and reduce the need for emergency shelter by fifty percent.
- February 25: Five Indiana counties (including Scott) have HIV outbreaks tied to needle sharing.
- March 25: Governor Pence issues an executive order allowing the creation of a needle exchange program in Scott County.
- April 4: Scott County opens a needle exchange program.
- April 17: Aaron’s Law goes into effect, making Naloxone available to anyone.
- May 5: Governor Pence signs a law legalizing needle exchange programs statewide with state health department approval.
- August 19: Monroe County Health Department declares a public emergency due to Hepatitis C outbreak.
- September 5: Monroe County Commissioners vote to approve a syringe exchange program (SEP) in Monroe County. With this, Monroe County becomes the fourth county in the state to have a program and the first to have a SEP run by a nonprofit.
- October 7: Indiana Supreme Court upholds a synthetic drug law banning K2 and spice, as well as other compounds.
- December 22: The Indiana State Department of Health approves the creation of a needle exchange program in Monroe County.
- January 27: Point-in-time data estimates that there are a total of 5,798 homeless individuals across the state, including 340 in Monroe County.
- February 14: Indiana Recovery Alliance begins a needle exchange program in Monroe County.
- August 11: City of Bloomington launches efforts to combat aggressive panhandling by encouraging the public to donate directly to social services providers active in our community rather than to panhandlers.
- August 11: To combat crime downtown, City of Bloomington increases police patrols, installs several cameras in public places to help monitor and deter illegal activity, and monitors compliance with state and local laws governing panhandling.
- August 11: To increase overall presence in and utilization of downtown parks, City of Bloomington increases parks programming.
- August 11: Social service providers, downtown business owners, law enforcement, and members of the public are invited to join the newly formed Safety, Civility, and Justice (SCJ) Task Force with the goal of developing inclusive approaches to decreasing crime, addiction, and homelessness.
- October 3: Peoples Park petition sparks public discussion.
- November 28: Construction begins on Crawford II, 35 secure and furnished one-bedroom apartments for chronically homeless individuals or couples.
- January: Cameras are installed in Peoples Park and Seminary Park.
- April 5: Scott County reaches 3 months without a new HIV case, sparking renewal of needle exchange program.
- May 26: Jobs program launches in coordination with Centerstone and City of Bloomington Parks & Recreation Department to offer employment to people experiencing the challenges of homelessness and/or addiction recovery.
- June 15: Based on recommendations from the Safety, Civility, and Justice (SCJ) Task Force, City of Bloomington trains parking enforcement officers and engages IU Police in order to increase downtown patrol hours.
- June 16-30: Bloomington experiences twenty-five spice overdoses over the course of two weeks.
- July 1: Indiana law imposing a 7-day limit on opioid prescriptions goes into effect.
- July 7: Police arrest two perpetrators for dealing heroin at Kroger on South College Avenue.
- August 21: Based on recommendations from the SCJ Task Force, the SCJ Metrics Group is formed to collect and analyze data regarding park use, first responder reports, police dispatches, and other SCJ-related metrics.
- September 7: Accessory Dwelling Unit Program is approved by City Council.
- October 7: Shalom Community Center expands services to include weekend hours.
- November 16: The Community Coordinating Council hosts its first meeting.
In need? Get help.
If you or someone you know is in need of help you can use the map and links below to navigate service options within Bloomington. Simply scroll over the colored dots on the map to find out more about the services offered. To view services in a list format click here.
Tell us your story.
Have you been impacted by addiction and/or homelessness challenges within our community? We want to hear your story.