People of Housing Security:
Program Director of Beacon’s Friend’s Place overnight shelter provides her invaluable time and effort to those that she serves in the community.
Like many others, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020, Lindsey Dominguez’s professional life changed significantly. Lindsey was working as a preschool teacher at the time, but the school she was working at shut down due to the pandemic.
Lindsey spent her early career working with children. After attending college, Lindsey worked as a nanny. Following this, she then began her career as a preschool teacher. However, this changed during the pandemic.
During the shutdown, Lindsey started to get more involved with the Bloomington community. She began working with the Monroe County Mutual Aid Disaster Relief Group. According to their website, this group “is a grassroots disaster relief network based on the principles of solidarity, mutual aid, and autonomous direct action.” Lindsey continues to work with this group today.
In Fall 2022, a friend of Lindsey’s saw a job opening for a Program Director at Friend’s Place at Beacon. This friend encouraged Lindsey to apply for the position. Now, Lindsey has been serving in this role for just over a year. She says she would not trade it for anything.
Friend’s Place is an overnight, year-round, emergency shelter for adults 18+ in the Monroe County area.
While Lindsey loves her job, there are certainly hard days. However, the people she works with and the small positive moments keep her going.
“I feel like even if we have negative after negative, if there is one positive thing, that turns my day around.”
Much of Lindsey’s work includes ensuring Friends Place is prepared for overnight guests. Before opening, Lindsey will attend meetings and help out with casework around the shelter. When the shelter opens at 5:15, Lindsey helps with intake and makes an effort to create relationships with the people she is seeing. This includes getting people checked in and directing folks to the help they might need. She says relationship building is the best part of her day.
After she does intake, Lindsey will stick around the shelter to help with any problems or situations that may arise. By this time, it is somewhere between 8 and 10 p.m., which means it is time for the workday to conclude.
When Lindsey is not working, she loves to spend time outdoors, especially this time of year. She enjoys taking her two dogs on walks and being in the wilderness. She is a total animal lover, having two cats as well. Because of this, Lindsey enjoys it when there are dogs in the shelter.
Other than being outside, Lindsey enjoys spending time “vegging out.” She likes watching TV, playing video games, and just relaxing. This allows Lindsey to decompress after a long day at work and just gives her time to zone out for a bit. Lindsey also likes to do different kinds of DIY activities and crafts. She likes to put these skills to use by doing different projects around her home.
Looking to the future, Lindsey hopes to see completely new clients. To her, this would mean that all of her current clients would be housed. Along with this, she is also looking forward to having a new facility that will be tailored to the needs in the Bloomington community. Beacon is in the planning stages of a new development that would bring together all of its services under one roof.
Ultimately, there are so many things Lindsey wishes people knew about housing security. She says that it is not a simple solution, and it is a very individualized issue.
“There is no right or wrong way to help a person achieve housing security,” Lindsey said.
About the People of Housing Security: This series highlights the work of those committed to improving the lives of residents in South Central Indiana. Find all the articles in this series here.