The Bloomingtonian

Mary Jane Hoene moves back to Seminary Park saying she has nowhere else to go; City to clear tents next Monday

January 4, 2021; Bloomington, Indiana: Mary Jane Hoene has returned to living in Seminary Park where she plans to stay until the City of Bloomington shows up to remove tents and community members experiencing homelessness January 11th. Hoene said she’s hoping to pool her disability check, and stimulus money to rent an apartment. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
Mary Jane Hoene grew up on Bloomington’s west side of Bloomington, and says that the late Reverend Butler was a friend of her family. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)

Mary Jane Hoene returned to Seminary Park after being evicted last month, but expects to be evicted again on January 11, and is currently still experiencing homelessness.

Hoene, 56, was raised in Bloomington, Indiana and lived in the area of town called, “Pidgeon Hill,” north of 11th Street on the Westside. But, she managed to move away from there, and is reluctant to go back because the area brings bad memories of past troubles.

Mary Jane Hoene said she left housing over a year ago after a disagreement with a landlord and hasn’t had housing since. This is Hoene’s first winter trying to live without a home in Bloomington. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)

Hoene told The Bloomington she had housing a year ago, but when she let a relative experiencing health issues live with her, the landlord told her either the relative had to go, or she would be evicted. Hoene chose to leave her housing, and hasn’t found housing since then.

Further complicating matters, said Hoene, are a felony from 25 years ago that still shows up when landlords consider her as a tenant. And then she owed money to a landlord, and that has also been a barrier.

Police and social workers showed up in Seminary Park around 10 p.m. December 9th, and those who didn’t take an offer of shelter overnight at Wheeler Mission, or the Stride Center, were told to leave. Police officers then loaded up tents and other items and took them to a storage facility.

For a few nights members of the Bloomington community experiencing homelessness moved their tents to other places nearby, or slept behind buildings, or moved to places in areas woods.

Hoene packed up a few of her items, and moved to a spot in the woods, but told The Bloomingtonian, she doesn’t like living in the woods, and soon found herself alone. So, a few days later, she noticed some had moved back to the park, and she decided to also move back.

That’s when Hoene said she experienced the misfortune of having almost all her possessions stolen in the park by a woman she says doesn’t live there, but had come to the park. During a cold snap, Hoene, and a friend left for the night, and when she returned the next morning, her tent was open, and everything, except a coat her late mother gave her was gone. They even took her heart medicine.

December 18, 2020; Bloomington, Indiana: Mary Jane Hoene tent is left open after a woman she helped stole nearly everything she had the night of December 17th. Hoene had left for the night due to cold weather and for her health. Mary Jane Hoene. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
January 2, 2021; Bloomington, Indiana: The City of Bloomington posted signs Monday, January 4th giving community members experiencing homelessness until Monday, January 11th to “find shelter elsewhere.” The City of Bloomington cites cold winter weather and that tents are pitched on the right-of-way (in the path of vehicle traffic) for College Avenue as safety reasons. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)

The Bloomingtonian caught up with Hoene to interview her a couple days after most of her possessions were stolen by a woman she said she has helped in the past:

Hoene was able to find temporary places to stay over the past few weeks as another member of the community froze to death on a sidewalk, but as temperatures have warmed up, Hoene moved back Sunday.

Hoene has slowly been able to replace most of her things, but recently, a person took her insulin, and all of her toe and hand warmers.

However, Hoene told the Bloomington she got the 600 dollars stimulus, and she gets disability every month, and if someone would rent her a place to live, she is ready. However, since she has nowhere to go, she said she’s not leaving the park.

The Bloomingtonian caught up with Hoene Monday for a short interview Monday afternoon at Seminary Park:

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