During the recent bitter cold 18 unsheltered individuals had a place to stay, three meals, and for those who wished—a chance to meet with a case manager. This was possible because many caring people helped set up, staff and provide what was needed in the space. A team of ten volunteers helped set up the center and forty volunteers provided coverage, along with staff members, and/or meals. Close to 145 hours of service were donated.
Exactly one year ago today, September 5, 2019, Housing Forward unveiled Sojourner House, its next step toward ending homelessness. Based in Oak Park, this interim housing and medical respite program is the first of its kind in suburban Cook County. The program was developed with many partners including MacNeal Hospital/Loyola Medicine, Oak Park Housing Authority, Oak Park Residence Corporation, Oak Park Township and Oak Park Homelessness Coalition.
This is Lalema Bakate, a valued member of the Housing Forward Outreach and Engagement Team. Lalema is an Engagement Specialist and according to Armando Smith, Director of Operations and Client Services, she is able to keep a shelter site running smoothly without ever raising her voice above a whisper.
Demetrius Lowery and Calvin Jefferson, who we at Housing Forward affectionately call Team DC, have been consistently providing meals to clients who have been moved from a rotating overnight emergency shelter program to individual 24/7 accommodations so they can safely “shelter in place” during the corona outbreak. The number of people being served has grown from 64 to 104 over the past month. This is nearly double the number we would be serving in our regular shelters.
Over the past couple weeks, there has been a lot of news about the COVID-19 pandemic–both in our agency communications and in the local and national news. The seriousness of these times is clear. But there is also good news that comes out of this once-in-a-lifetime situation, so we want to share some bright spots!
Our office manager received a call recently from someone who wanted to make a donation but asked if it could be picked it up.
Housing Forward is delighted to introduce Erik Johnson who joined our agency as Director of Development and Communications this month.
Jennifer is a Housing Forward Street Outreach Specialist.
Volunteers are an essential part of the PADS Emergency shelter program which operates from September to May providing a place to sleep and three meals, 7 nights a week at 11 rotating sites in host congregregations in Berwyn, Forest Park and Oak Park for between 20 and 60 people in the midst of a housing crisis.
Forest Park Baptist Church is coming on board as a Monday night secondary shelter site in January.