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A special client story highlighted at the 2019 Housing Forward Have-a- Heart Gala is about Juanita, a mother of six children, 3 with an Autism diagnosis, who speaks candidly about how she came to be a Housing Forward client. She shares how her perception of a shelter, and the stigma associated with needing one, delayed her in asking for help. Ebony, our Outreach & Engagement Specialist talks about how through connecting community resources she was able to help Juanita's family in the short and long terms. We report on our agency's current impact data and then Executive Director Lynda Schueler announces a new housing option that would have will make this process even more successful in the future. We are excited that Sojourner House is now under development. Click on the link here to watch the video on our YouTube channel.

Currently, under development and due to open this spring, Sojourner House is a partnership of Housing Forward and the Oak Park Housing Authority. Located on the property at 324 N. Austin Ave., Oak Park, there are two residential buildings on the property. The front building has 5 individual apartments and in the back is a family-designated coach house. When complete it will be the only one if its kind in Cook County providing immediate, temporary housing for families with minor children, persons with physical limitations, and those who need care and respite after receiving hospital services. In additionto the Oak Park Housing Authority, this partnership brings community stakeholders such as Oak Park Residence Corporation, and MacNeal Hospital.  We are thrilled to be strengthening our community’s safety net with this program. Click here for a link to a Frequently Asked Questions document. 

There's a lot of stigma around going to a homeless shelter, especially with a family. I didn't know there were other ways Housing Forward could help.