Got time? Got talent? Looking for volunteer opportunities for the whole family? Want to help clients practice job interviews or write a resume? Instructions on becoming a volunteer are available in the "Getting Started" sidebar.

PADS Shelter

The PADS Shelter program begins on September 18, 2017 and runs through May 14, 2018. The program provides overnight shelter and three daily meals, seven days a week, for 40 to 60 individuals at 9 rotating sites in Berwyn, Forest Park, and Oak Park. The program is a gateway for a wide array of supportive services aimed at reducing the length of homelessness for our overnight clients and helping them work toward the ultimate goal of achieving and sustaining housing stability. Volunteers are needed in the shelter to help set up and break down the shelter, prepare meals, and generally supervise the space to ensure a safe environment. If you are interested in getting involved, please follow the instructions on the "Getting Started" tab in the sidebar.
It is mandatory to attend a training session before you begin volunteering. Trainings are held twice a month. Please reach out to our Volunteer Coordinator at or 708.338.1724 ext. 242 for scheduling.

Support Center

Our Support Center is open Monday through Friday during business hours. In the Support Center, clients address basic care needs such as showers and laundry, receive mail and search for jobs. If you are interested in getting involved in the Support Center, or feel that you have a unique talent that would be well suited for this environment, please follow the instructions on "Getting Started" in the sidebar.

Volunteers are currently needed once or twice a week, for 60-90 minutes, to help pack supplies for the PADS Shelter. This can occur anytime between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Employment Readiness

Our Employment Readiness program includes Career Passport, an intensive, group-based course which addresses clients' barriers to employment. We also offer one-on-one job counseling and employment location services to clients. There are numerous skill-based volunteer opportunities in this program, including resume writing, mock interviews, etc. If you are interested in getting involved with this program, please follow the instructions on "Getting Started" in the sidebar.

Prevail Emergency Assistance

Our Emergency Assistance and Referrals Program provides referrals and modest emergency financial assistance for food, housing, utilities and transportation to individuals and families at urgent risk. Our goal is to address the immediate crisis so the individual or family can work on additional steps on the path toward stability. The program's compassionate volunteers listen to each person’s individual situation and, working together with the client, use solutions-based counseling to develop a plan of action. There are several skill-based volunteer opportunities in this program.

Client Counselor: Meet with individual clients to discuss their needs and develop an action plan. A counseling background is not necessary but good non-judgmental listening skills are a must. Extensive resource and referral training is provided.ed in getting involved, please follow the instructions on "Getting Started" in the sidebar.

Short Term Stability Services Volunteer: Assist in providing short term solutions based on case management to clients. In addition, volunteers will develop ongoing referrals and resources for our clients’ needs including but not limited to a knowledge of housing placement options, community resources, budget and employment programs. Volunteers should be comfortable with using a computer for data entry, experience with direct client services and a flexible attitude as the needs of our clients and the program adjust and change over time. Social work experience is a plus but not required.

Registration Assistant: Greet and register clients. Registration is done using client database software which requires very basic computer knowledge. Training will be provided.

Research: Perform phone and/or internet research to verify existing referral agency information and locate new referral agency sources. Volunteers can do this work offsite.

Administrative Assistance: Help maintain client files, answer phone inquiries and return voice messages; maintain resource literature racks and bulletin boards, compile client stories, assist with correspondence and provide other administrative support.

Other Opportunities

  • Auxiliary Board: Housing Forward’ is currently seeking new board members to work on our annual fundraising Gala in February. This board is solely responsible for gathering items for the event’s silent auction and members can choose from a variety of assignments such as soliciting local business for donations, preparing donation solicitation packets, picking up donated items, assembling baskets of smaller auction items, helping the day-of to set up auction areas, etc. The time commitment and assignments can vary based on personal interests and schedules. Minimal group meetings, majority of work can be done from home. If you are interested in joining this dynamic, fun group we encourage you to apply. If you have questions, please contact Amanda Rochon at 708.338.1724, ext. 230 or via email at
  • Associate Board: Housing Forward’ Associate Board is an innovative group of young professionals who are committed to furthering the friend-raising and fundraising efforts of Housing Forward. This new board will provide individuals the opportunity to develop new skills and broaden professional social circles while working to end homelessness. If you are looking for an opportunity to put your creativity, talents and skills toward a great cause, we encourage you to apply. If you have questions about the Associate Board, please contact Amanda Rochon at 708.338.1724, ext. 230 or via email at
  • Graphic Designer: Are you looking for a place to volunteer your talents? Housing Forward is looking for skilled volunteers with a passion for helping others. If you are a graphic designer or graphic artist and able to spare a few hours on an ad hoc basis, we could use you! Potential projects include designing event flyers, posters, general collateral development, print/electronic ads, signage, etc. This volunteer opportunity will require access to a personal computer and design software. If you are interested in this opportunity, please contact Janet Gow at 708.338.1724, ext. 262 or via email at
  • Photography: Volunteers needed to photograph various fundraising events, dinners, benefits, etc. Must have access to own equipment and willing to share photographs via Dropbox and other social media. Time commitment varies, depending on agency events and personal preference. If you are interested in this volunteer opportunity, please contact Janet Gow at 708.338.1724, ext. 262 or via email at