There are hundreds of people that access Housing Forward’s year-round, five-day-a-week, Support Center to attend to their immediate needs and health issues, access case management and begin to address their long-term needs of housing and sustainable income. Our Support Center is an important initial stop on a client’s journey towards stability.
The Heartland Alliance’s National Initiatives on Poverty & Economic Opportunity has released a new paper about integrating rapid re-housing and employment. Last year, 45 individuals in 27 households were provided with 4,484 nights of housing in Housing Forward’s Rapid Re-Housing program providing access to stable housing and supportive services for individuals and families experiencing homelessness and, at the same time, providing financial assistance and wraparound services that facilitate a transition to long-term stability.
As we transition into Spring, it is a great time to reflect on the impact we have had over the last year. In 2016, our generous supporters enabled us to assist 1,849 unique individuals with their housing crisis. Of our donors that contributed at least one financial gift in 2016, 5% have committed to supporting our mission with monthly contributions. Imagine the impact we could have in 2017 if we increased our recurring donors by 10%. As you read through our 2016 program highlights, please consider how your commitment could impact even more lives.
Housing Forward, in partnership with 30-plus stakeholders, is a leader in the efforts of the Oak Park Homelessness Coalition (OPHC). After launching a Plan of Action, the OPHC continues to meet quarterly to develop strategies and solutions to combat homelessness. As a commitment to this effort, Housing Forward has integrated plan strategies into our 3-year strategic plan and will support this initiative through our agency's 25 years of experience and expertise.
Please join us to launch the Oak Park Homelessness Coalition's 2016 Plan of Action. It's time to make homelessness rare, brief and one time in Oak Park!
In August, Housing Forward became the lead fiscal agent for three permanent supportive housing programs formerly managed by Pillars, a community-based mental health agency. Housing Forward has been a partner in the three programs since their inception. Combined, the programs provide 71 units of supportive housing to individuals and families who are homeless and disabled.
Housing Forward has been fortunate to be able to help those in our community for the past 24 years and one of the most important assets we have is the wealth of talented and caring volunteers that help us achieve our mission.
Our volunteers are vital to us, annually giving thousands of hours of their time and resources, they exemplify kindness, compassion and treat everyone with dignity and respect, whether or not they have a home. They truly touch the lives of those who stay at the shelter and in turn, often the lives of volunteers are also changed. Volunteers are needed in the PADS Emergency Shelter to help set up and break down the shelter, prepare meals, and generally supervise the space to ensure a safe environment.
With more than 650 people in attendance on Friday, May 20, Housing Forward presented W. Kamau Bell and Hari Kondabolu in a night of comedy that raised $19,500 to benefit programs and services to those experiencing or at-risk of homelessness in our community.
On Friday, May 20th, W. Kamau Bell and Hari Kondabolu will be performing at DePaul's Merle Reskin Theatre, with 100% of the proceeds benefiting Housing Forward. Don't miss out on this one-of-a-kind event!
Please call or email your state representative to let them know that we need their support for HB 4955 to effectively transition people out of homelessness.