Home Sweet Home Ministries expands into Central Illinois

Bloomington-based Home Sweet Home Ministries (HSHM) has bought a new building in an effort to further development in the organization and to offer its services to the town of Lincoln.

The Lincoln community will now operate the HSHM Mission Mart Thrift Store at the new location of 119 N. Sangamon St. The recently purchased site will allow for more space in drop-off donations and sorting. This will also allow the nonprofit organization to be the home base for services accessible to Logan County by HSHM.

“We’ve actually been present in Lincoln for about 20 years,” Matt Drat, development and community relations manager at HSHM, said.

“Small business in that community space is what we currently occupy … Leasing is maxed out when it comes to space we need and donation sizes of what we do,” he added, which subsequently led to the purchase of the new location.

Up until the purchase, the Lincoln Mission Mart had been leased in a smaller area downtown. As HSHM continues to grow, it was only a natural progression to outright purchase a new spot for handling and sorting donations in order for the organization to keep flourishing and to offer their help where it is needed in the community.

“HSHM requires 2,000 square feet of additional space to sort and deal with donations, and since the goods brought to be stored in Lincoln don’t have that right now, the additional space will save both time and money,” he said.

“Houseware, clothing and other items all have to come back to Bloomington to get stored and sorted,” Drat said. “It will also offer a greater selection in a more timely fashion.”

Since HSHM has officially acquired the building and are now property owners in Lincoln, it makes investing in the town easier as a community, he added.

“We’ve been talking to the community of Lincoln — asking what other programs and services that Home Sweet Home could provide for Lincoln; what is needed in this area that Home Sweet Home could do to improve the quality of life?” Drat explained.

“The new space gives the opportunity to provide services that Lincoln needs.”

The new space will also allow HSHM to expand their 2013 HSHRenew initiative, which involves the assembling of goods which need to be recycled.

For nearly 100 years, HSHM’s mission has been to provide homeless and low-income families in Bloomington-Normal with several different programs including food, shelter, clothing, children’s programming and educational and vocational training. The organization is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week all year round.

The securing of the new building will help HSHM develop a deeper partnership with the community, Drat said.

“It will help us work with the community in such a way that develops what we do that makes sense for that community.”

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