Upon graduating from Indiana University in 2013, Evelyn Smith began volunteering at Middle Way House in Bloomington, Indiana. As a crisis intervention volunteer, Smith spoke on the phone with victims and survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence. Later, Smith began training new crisis intervention volunteers to do the same. After two years as a Middle Way volunteer, Smith joined the team as a full-time community outreach coordinator.
Since Smith began working with Middle Way House six years ago, numerous new volunteers have joined the organization—and many community members have escaped abusive relationships. “We had a client who was experiencing a minor breakdown due to her past traumas,” Smith said. “I was really glad that I was able to sit with her as we worked through it.” While this type of story is unfortunately common at Middle Way House, the nonprofit’s multitude of resources available can help provide solutions to its clients’ emotional and physical pain. In 2016, the transitional housing program supported nearly 100 women and children.
Middle Way House is dedicated to supporting those from all backgrounds who are affected by domestic violence and sexual assault. The nonprofit strives to see a violence-free society. Compassionate and caring community members, like those who work with IU Corps, are welcomed to attend one of the six volunteer trainings offered at Middle Way House throughout the year. Middle Way House volunteers provide more than 16,000 hours of service each year.
Smith believes Middle Way House can create positive change in the community. The organization boasts great leadership, staff, and volunteers and pledges to continue to advocate for those in need. "Everyone is part of building a community that is healthier and safer,” Smith said.