1992

Tri-Village PADS was founded in response to the growing problem of homelessness in Oak Park, River Forest and Forest Park. Initially run entirely by volunteers, PADS opened the overnight Emergency Shelter program at seven rotating sites, providing food and shelter to 244 homeless individuals from the community.

1993

The Medical Clinic begins, in partnership with Family Practice at West Suburban Hospital, to provide on-site medical services on Monday evenings at the Emergency Shelter. 

1995

Support Center opens to help clients achieve self-sufficiency by providing access to basic self-care services necessary for daily living, as well as health and case management services.

1996

The Transitional Housing program, with four apartment units in Oak Park, launches for homeless individuals and families who are employed. 

1998

The Transitional Housing program expands from four to 17 apartment units. 

2000

  • Tri-Village PADS becomes West Suburban PADS to reflect an expanded service area (20 communities in six townships).
  • Agency offices move from First Baptist Church in Maywood to St. Bernardine Convent in Forest Park. 
  • Summer Lunch program is introduced, providing meals five days a week during the summer months when the shelter is closed. 

2001

  • Homeless Prevention program begins, offering one-time rent, mortgage or utility assistance to those at risk of homelessness.
  • Bilingual Information and Referral line is established.

2002

Project WIN is created, offering intensive and specialized case management services to address medical, mental health and substance abuse conditions. Access Community Health Network and Procare become formal partners. 

2003

Loyola University Health Systems replaces West Suburban Hospital as the Monday evening Medical Clinic partner. 

2004

  • Project WISH launches, in partnership with South Suburban PADS, the only transitional housing program, at the time, in suburban Cook County dedicated to housing single adults and preference for military veterans.
  • The Legal Clinic begins, in partnership with Chicago Volunteer Legal Services, once a month in the shelter. 

2005

The Emergency Shelter expands from nine to 10 rotating shelter sites in Oak Park, Forest Park, Berwyn and Franklin Park. 

2006

WCHIP, a multi-agency collaboration to provide 30 units of scattered-site permanent supportive housing targeting the mentally ill, begins. The partnering agencies are West Suburban PADS, Pillars, Thresholds, Thrive Counseling Center and Vital Bridges/Heartland Alliance. 

2007

  • West Suburban PADS is the recipient of the United Way's Outstanding Agency Partner Award.
  • The agency moves to St. Eulalia's Parish House in Maywood to expand the space of the Support Center. 

 

2009

  • The ground-level space of St. Eulalia’s Parish House is renovated with private funding, creating a new 2,500 square foot space for the day-time, year-round Support Center. 
  • Career Passport launches to help clients identify and resolve their long-term barriers to retained employment and career advancement. 
  • The agency’s AmeriCorps program is launched, allowing for increased programming and capacity. 

2010

The Outreach & Engagement program is launched, with two full-time specialists working on-site in the Emergency Shelter seven nights a week. Their role is to assertively outreach persons identified as chronically homeless and connect them with supportive services that enable pursuit of a housing plan. During the 2010-2011 shelter season, these efforts result in 36% of chronically homeless shelter clients moving into permanent supportive housing. 

2011

  • In partnership with the West Cook YMCA, the Interim Housing program is created to provide a bridge between the Emergency Shelter and stable housing for male clients participating in the Career Passport program, or for those with an income. 
  • Permanent supportive housing expands by five units with the launch of the WCHANCE program, for persons with physical or mental health disabilities or addiction issues, via the WCHIP collaborative.

2012

  • Outreach & Engagement expands to include Street Outreach services targeting unsheltered "non-service seekers" in Oak Park, Berwyn and Cicero. 
  • Partnership with Loyola University Health Systems continues to expand by teaming with the Graduate Student Nurses Association to extend the reach of Project WIN resources while giving the nurses valuable field experience on the Outreach & Engagement team. 

2013

  • Open Door Housing launches - a 65-unit scattered site housing program to transition disabled, homeless individuals and families into stable, permanent supportive housing.
  • Shelter Diversion services begin, designed to assess whether shelter is the best option for addressing the household's housing crisis, and to direct the client to the most appropriate resource to prevent homelessness. 

2014

  • Through the first full year of Open Door Housing, 51 individuals end their homelessness by moving into permanent supportive housing units. 
  • Emergency Shelter services are increased, with shelter available 50 weeks per year.
  • From 2009 to the end of 2014, chronic homelessness in the Emergency Shelter is reduced by 88%, increasing the shelter's capacity to serve those in immediate housing crisis.

2015

  • West Suburban PADS becomes Housing Forward to better convey the comprehensive nature of its solution to homelessness. Emergency Services is renamed the PADS Shelter program.
  • Prevail merges into Housing Forward, resulting in combined Emergency Assistance and Employment Readiness programs. The merge strengthens the support system for individuals and families who are experiencing financial and housing crises.

2016

  • Housing Forward assumes fiscal responsibility for 71 units of supportive housing in partnership with Thresholds, Thrive, Heartland Alliance and South Suburban PADS.
  • Housing Forward is chosen to lead a new Coordinate Entry system for all of suburban Cook County.