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Touchstones Newsletter

Stepping Stones, Inc. touchstones

MISSION To provide transitional housing and supportive services to youth aged 16-20 who are experiencing homelessness.

V. II, 2012

P.O. Box 1366


Bloomington, IN 47402


[office] (812) 339-9771


[fax] (812) 339-2991

would rent to her and, at $7.25 an hour at her part-time job, she couldn’t afford it even if they did. Prior to coming to our program, Jessica* had been staying at her Then her friend’s concerned friend’s mother’s house for just under neighbor mentioned Stepping Stones two months. Before that, she had to her. The neighbor had heard stayed at another friend’s house something about our program on even though her friend’s mother the radio and thought it sounded wasn’t sure how long like something Jessica she could stay because could use. Jessica wasn’t she worked a lot and so sure and thought that felt uncomfortable with she could continue to get a “strange kid” in her by on her own but the house. neighbor insisted. She was certain that being in Just one year ago, our program would help Jessica left her father’s her that she sat down house because of his with Jessica and filled out violent temper which the application with her. often left her feeling scared for her safety. After having months She was an average of “instable” housing, student but her dad’s Jessica moved in to temper in the evenings Stepping Stones where often forced her to she was provided the get out of the house I graduated High School encouragement of caring causing her grades to adults and the extra because of you suffer. When it got too support she needed for much for her, she left the 6 months she stayed determined to make with us. During that time, Jessica was it on her own but it proved to be able to focus on her schooling, save difficult. up money and, when time came for her to move out, she moved into an Having just turned 18, no one

YOU Made a Difference inJessica’s Life


apartment with two of her friends and is paying her part of the rent. Jessica graduated from high school this spring, something she wasn’t sure that she was going to be able to do. Jessica’s story is one of the many that we hear and experience each day at Stepping Stones: breakdown within the family leads to a youth experiencing homelessness. And, sadly, there are many stories that aren’t heard because the youth is ashamed of their homelessness or their friends and family do not know. You are the difference. It is your support that offers them the opportunity to stay under a roof rather than a bridge; to sleep in a bed rather than in the backseat of a car; and to be surrounded by a network of staff and volunteers who are looking out for their best interests. July is “Make a Difference to Children/Youth” month and every day you are making a difference in a youth’s life when you support Stepping Stones. *Based on an actual resident’s experience. Names and details altered for confidentiality.

Homeless Youth, the Heat, and You In case you hadn’t noticed, this summer has been hot. So hot, in fact, that National Public Radio released this photo (top-right) from the National Climatic Data Center “showing the number of places where daily maximum temperature records were broken in June. Each dot represents a broken record. The data center says “2,284 records were broken and another 998 were tied”1. The NCDC also that the Year-to-Date average temperatures for some of our neighboring Indiana cities are higher than they’ve been in decades: Indianapolis, 65 years; Fort Wayne, 73 years; and South Bend, 110 years.2 As the heat effects everything from water supplies and yards to crop yields, it also effects those that are exposed to the elements without respite: the homeless. And among the numbers of the homeless, youth continue to rise. Nationally, some estimates suggest that each year approximately 1.6 million youth will experience homelessness. These youth “run away from home or are forced out of their homes by parents, guardians or other caretakers... [and]...[t]he vast majority [have] experienced grave abuse and/or neglect in their homes.”3 We see similar trends here at Stepping Stones. Since Will be available in August. Make sure to check out March, 50% of our applicants reported having to leave our website and see what you helped accomplish! their home either by request, force or by choice or they were fleeing domestic *continued on page 2

2011 Annual Report

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Touchstones Newsletter BOARD OF DIRECTORS Pamela Hensler President Glen Burkholder, Vice President Mike Craig, Treasurer Mike Beam, Secretary Steve Englert Bruce McCallister Stacey McGualey Dustin Plummer Phil Randall MaryAlice Rickert Darla Hartun-Starns Shannon Stryjewski STAFF Derek Andrews,

Stepping Stones Board, Staff and Community Partners

Health Coordinator - AmeriCorps

Sheri Benham, Executive Director Hillary Carter, Counseling Intern Katherine Cler, Resident Assistant Logan Emmitt, Resident Assistant Alysia Fornal, Independent Living Coach

Andrew Hollis, Social Work Intern Jaimie Huguenard, Social Work Intern Kellie Kierce, Program Development Coordinator

Stephanie McGee,

Independent Living Coach

Andrea Newcomb,

Health Coordinator - AmeriCorps

Roald Samuel Shrader, Development Intern

Stephanie Simpson, Marketing Intern Clayton Sparks, Counseling Intern Stephanie Turpin, Counseling Intern Warren Wade, Development Director Ching Diana Yu, Administrative Intern COMMUNITY PARTNERS AmeriCorps Amethyst House Asset Building Coalition Big Brothers Big Sisters Catholic Social Services Centerstone Community Kitchen Drop Out Prevention Coalition Hoosier Hills Food Bank INGLBT IU Schools of Counseling, Education, Informatics, SPEA and Social Work Martha’s House Middle Way House Monroe County Schools Corporation Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard Non Profit Alliance Positive Link Rhino’s All Ages Youth Center Salvation Army Shalom Community Center South Central Housing Network Suicide Prevention Coalition United Way of Monroe County Volunteers in Medicine (VIM) Vocational Rehabilitation Work One Youth Services Bureau

receive calls from parents looking for alternative living situations for their violence or substance abuse in the troublesome teen and home; 73% of them from youth looking to were 18 and under. out of a dysfunctional of applicants to Their situation or negative situation. Stepping Stones forces them to We work hard with “couch surf” at their reported having to leave their both parent and friends’ houses, stay home either by request, force youth, discussing their in shelters, or other or by choice or they were situation, brainstorming places not meant fleeing domestic violence or possible solutions, and for anyone to live, substance abuse in the home. encouraging healing let alone someone their relationships. who is not yet an Not all relationships are repairable adult. The dangers of homelessness (or at least not as soon as the youth for youth are now compounded with would need it to be) nor are all home the summer heat. environments safe to return home This combination of desperation to. For those youth who cannot be and heat may be part of the at home for a variety of reasons, reason that the National Runaway Stepping Stones is here. Switchboard (NRS) recently reported Your support helps provide them that they see an increase in calls with the shelter and some of the regarding youth looking to return supports their family was not able home during the summer. Their to provide. And while they are with program “Home Free” offers youth us, we work with both parties a free a ticket home that is to work towards reunification, also coupled with supportive as much or as little as either are services aimed at rebuilding # of NRS willing or able to work. the broken or lost connections with their family. Of those that calls from Every youth deserves the (812) are reunited, nearly 7 out of 8 opportunity to grow and thrive of the families report that “the with a system of support that issues that led the youth to run away wants and encourages them to were somewhat, mostly or completely succeed. At Stepping Stones, we work resolved within a month”and that 3 hard to do just that while creating a out of 4 “did not leave home again.”4 supportive community for them to develop the skills they need to live In light of “National Family independently. Reunion Month,” we celebrate the successes of family reunification Warren Wade efforts locally and nationally. At Development Director Stepping Stones, we frequently

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1 Memmott, Mark. How Hot Is It? All You Need to See Are These Two Maps. 07/06/2012 2 3 Legal Center for Foster Care & Education. “What Child Welfare Advocates Can Do for Unaccompanied Youth.” 2008. 4 National Runaway Switchboard, M ​ ore Runaway Youth Look to Return Home During Summer Months​. The Sacramento Bee. 07/16/2012

Stay Up-to-Date with Stepping Stones! We want you to stay in touch and up-to-date and there are lots of ways to do it. Find out about our upcoming events, volunteer opportunities and needs 1. Keep reading this Qtrly newsletter (sent to 100s of donors like you) 2. Join our monthly e-Newsletter (over 150 people signed up!) 3. Become a fan on Facebook @ Stepping Stones, Inc. (We post weekly for you to read and share to your friends. Now w/ 411 likes!) 4. Follow us on Twitter @Stepping_Stones (103 Followers. R U 1 of them?) 5. Send us a letter at P.O. Box 1366 Bloomington, IN 47402 6. Give us a call at (812) 339-9771 7. Send us an email at 8. Visit our website at

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Your Input is Needed!

The Difference Your Support Makes!


($52/year) can support… • One professional counseling session for one resident. • One healthy, drug-free activity for nine residents. • Pays for basic school supplies for one resident.


($260/year) can support… • One load of washed and dried laundry / wk for 1 resident. • Provides interview clothes and haircuts for six residents.



($520/yr) can support… • Utilities for 1 resident for 1 year. • YMCA annual group membership, providing wellness access for residents.

$20/ wk •

($1040/yr) can support…

One group meal a week. • Provides 2 hours of case management a week that includes financial management, job skills coaching and other independent living skills.

Ways you can give 2.

Send cash/check to Donate directly PO Box 1366 from our homepage Bloomington, IN 47402 via our PayPal account


Find out more ways to give at

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Touchstones Newsletter UPCOMING EVENTS NIght at Nick’s Thurs. Aug 16 from 5:00 to 8:00 PM Come out to Nick’s! 10% of food sales in the backroom plus Natalie’s tips will be donated to Stepping Stones!

GRANTS The Monroe County CARES grant for their generous award of $10,383.45 to our Alternatives & Awareness Program, aimed at intervention and substance awareness. South Central Indiana REMC for their gift during the “Operation Round-Up.” Funds were used to purchase much needed supplies for our resident apartments. Indiana Housing & Community Development authority for funds for our supportive housing program through the “Emergency Solutions Grant” program and for the “Neighborhood Assistance Program” award.

SPECIAL THANKS! Alpha Omicron Pi & Kiwanis Club for making or contributing to “Welcome Baskets” for our residents Flannelgraph Records for their donation from their benefit alburm during the 2011 Holidays. Cardinal Stage Company for the “Community Sales Collaboration” opportunity in which we sold tickets and will receive a portion of the amount sold for their September 8th presentation of “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Kip May Photography taking Senior pictures for our high school seniors.

RESIDENT’S SUMMER TRIP The residents at Stepping Stones would like to thank the following for contributing to their summer trip to King’s Island: Texas Roadhouse for their “Donation Night” on 6/20. Bucceto’s for their “Night Out” on 05/14 K-Mart for allowing us to use their water and parking lot for Car Washes the residents did.

Special Thanks To the Following Community Supporters

know the impact your gift is having. We want you to know where your gift goes, how it is used, and what it means to support Stepping Stones Over the years, Stepping Stones’ and the youth we serve. has grown and changed thanks to So that we can plan better for your support. We’re now housing the future, we’d like to know how twice as many youth as we had we’ve done in the past and how when I started back in 2007 and we we’re doing today. have the program staff to effectively To that end, I’ve created a serve the needs of these new youth. “Newsletter Survey.” And here’s the If you’ve been a part of our link: Stepping Stones It’s a quick, 6 Family for a while question survey now, you’ve with room for probably seen your feedback my name with a and comments. couple of different We welcome and titles like “Office Administrator” appreciate any feedback you’re able and “Assistant Director.” In order to give. for Stepping Stones to continue to effectively serve this population A similar survey will go out those -- a group that has no indications of you on our e-newsletter list. of growing smaller with their needs Have YOU signed up for our e-newsletter? changing but their barriers no less Thank you so much for your difficult to overcome -- this spring support. I’ve enjoyed talking with my role has changed to become the many of you over the years and “Development Director.” look forward to partnering with While development had always you into the future as we respond been an essential part of my job to the needs of youth experiencing details, I now am able to focus homelessness. exclusively on writing grants, Warren Wade, executing special events, marketing Development Director and ensuring that you, our donors,

Touchstones Newsletter

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Stepping Stones P.O. Box 1366

Bloomington, IN 47402

You Made a Difference


Return Service Requested

Homeless Youth, the Heat, and You 1 Stay Up-to-Date


We Need your INput!


Your Support Makes a difference


Ways You can Give


NAP Credits are available!


If you receive two editions of our newsletter, please pass one on to a friend and notify Stepping Stones. Any requests to be removed from our mailing list will be promptly honored.


Here’s how it works:

credits are available now !

1. Contact Warren Wade at the number or email below to claim your credits. If there are credits remaining, you will receive the NC-10 form afterwards from us.

2. Make a donation of any value over $100 after July 1,

It’s that time of year, again! Neighborhood Assistance Program (or “NAP”) credits are available! This year, we’re able to offer $18,100 in credits, worth $36,200 in donations. For every donation over $100, you’ll receive 50% back as a credit against your state tax liabilities. For example, if you donate $100, you can receive a $50 credit on your 2012 Indiana State Taxes. Your gift through NAP will go to support the payroll of staff who provide direct services to our youth.

Did you Know... ...because of the recorded state budget you'll be receiving a refund credit from the State of Indiana on your 2012 taxes [an estimated $100 (single filer) / $200 (filing jointly)]?1 Use that $100 to make a difference in the life of a youth experiencing homelessness! Make your gift through the NAP program today! Olivia Ober, “State budget surplus means refunds for Hoosier taxpayers” The Herald Times July 6, 2012 1

2012 by check or online via PayPal.

3. Fill out the NC-10 Form and mail in the originally

signed document with your contribution (or send it in separately if you donate online).

• Please note “NAP” in the reference field or memo line of your check.

4. You will receive a letter from us recognizing and thanking you for your contribution. This letter should be kept with your personal records.

Donations can be mailed to Stepping Stones P.O. Box 1366, Bloomington, IN 47402. If you’re interested, make sure to contact Warren Wade as soon as possible to reserve your credits! These will go fast! He can be reached at (812) 339-9771 or by email at

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2012 Summer Newsletter  
2012 Summer Newsletter  

You Made a Difference 1 Homeless Youth, the Heat, and You 1 Stay Up-to-Date 2 We Need your INput! 3 Your Support Makes a difference 3 Ways Y...