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.
When brothers Joe and Anthony Shaker, of Shaker Recruitment Marketing, told their Lake Street neighbor Veronica Ciobotaru, owner of Delia’s Kitchen, that they wanted to help those affected by COVID-19, a plan was hatched.
What do some of our regular PADS emergency shelter volunteers do when our clients have been relocated due to COVID-19, and are sheltered in place in several locations?
Long before our PADS shelter program was moved from regular locations to individual accommodations, a volunteer at First United Church of Oak Park noticed that when many clients used the restrooms to clean up in the evening, they entered in bare feet.
This past weekend, Hidden Valley Ranch and Gino’s East of Wheaton and Gino’s East of South Barrington partnered to respond to the needs of people who have been deeply affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The plan came together when Sarah Dolan, a member of the Housing Forward Board of Directors, connected the Maywood nonprofit agency with offers of help from the makers of Hidden Valley Ranch, and two Gino’s East franchises.
Housing Forward Community Health Nurse Deirdre Kassay interacts regularly with clients—both those staying in temporary accommodations—and our existing clients in supportive housing. In order to comply with new Illinois rules now in effect, and for their protection as well as staff and meal delivery volunteers, she has put out a call for donated cloth face masks.
Etta Martin is serving her second year as a Senior Corps member with Housing Forward. She is enthusiastic in her praise of the organization and remains committed to serving its mission to transition people from housing crisis to housing stability.
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.