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Each year, we assist nearly 2,000 individuals and families who come to us from a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences. Their stories illustrate the complexity of housing crisis and homelessness, and how delivering solution-focused personalized support services ensures vulnerable community members thrive.

Here are a few of their success stories.

Client Couple
Some of the first people affected by COVID-19 worked in the service industry—people like Heather, a waitress, and Joe, a...
Thornton
Thorton is the lead worker on Housing Forward’s Interim Housing Program sanitation crew. Every weekday, he supervises a...
Sherman
Last winter, Sherman was staying in a house without heat. He thought his space heater was sufficient until a bitter cold...
Rousse
Rousse was among the first participants to enroll in our new Interim Housing Program. It was here that she found the...
Luis
When Luis lost his construction job during the pandemic, he immediately worried about also losing his Elmwood Park...
Cynthia
Cynthia was already having a challenging year. Her arthritis pain had become so unbearable that she had to stop working...
James
After the death of James' sister, his uncle insisted that James move in to save some money. Unfortunately, James was not...
David holding a picture of Missy
While experiencing homelessness, David regularly visited a local park, where he would feed the birds. One day, he formed...
man sitting
With the recent wars in Iraq & Afghanistan, our country has seen a surge in the number of veterans who become homeless...
baby sleeping in woman's arms
Suzanne and her son lost almost everything when there was a fire in their apartment building. Suzanne's medical...
Man holding keys
Man smiling at camera
Brandon was homeless for 12 years, bouncing from shelter to shelter, couch to couch. Brandon struggles with a myriad of...
man sitting in front of windows
Story originally appeared in the September 13, 2013 edition of the Wednesday Journal. By Deb Quantock McCarey After 16...
woman smiling
Lane spent a life feeling dependent; always needing help from others. After growing up in Chicago, in an area where gang...
kids playing in the grass
Chris, a 33-year old single father of three small children, came to the PADS Shelter for the first time in August. After...
woman smiling with toddler
After having to take off time to have baby Evan, Sarah’s financial circumstances became dire and without the support of...
pen and paper
Jennifer, one of our Street Outreach Specialists, brought a client to the Maywood Support Center today who she found in...
Woman with hat smiling
She can’t remember life before homelessness. Now 7 years after moving into her own apartment Yvonne can’t imagine where...
Baker with loaves of bread
P.J. came to shelter in November of 2019. This was his first experience of homelessness and he really needed a place to...
woman smiling
A special client story highlighted at the 2019 Housing Forward Have-a- Heart Gala is about Juanita, a mother of six...
man with santa hat signing papers
Today Gregory signed the lease for his new apartment through Housing Forward’s Open Door Housing (ODH) Program. ODH is...
man standing in kitchen
Adar is finally stably housed after living under bridges, in stranger's cars, on sidewalks, in doorways, in woods and at...
Man looking at camera
If you shop at the Oak Park Target store, you may recognize Ronald. That was his regular spot when he lived on the...
woman waving at camera with people
Late last summer, Donna* and her partner separated suddenly. She had little money to her name and no place to go. A...
Man sitting in chair smiling
Andrew had been homeless for more than three years before he became the first resident at Sojourner House. His 72 year...
father tossing child in the air
Jay and Lisa's life took a turn...for the better. On her way into work one morning, Ebony, one of our Street Outreach...
women smiling at camera
Linda was 50 and had been living in an unattached garage for 4 years when her chronic lung condition sent her to the...
Father and Daughter
Theodore and his daughter came to the PADS Shelter in the summer of 2015 after a serious medical condition caused him to...
Mother with children
This past September, Doris made a call to our Prevail Emergency Assistance program. She had received an eviction notice...