"I'm so glad to be safe again," she said. Most of us cannot imagine how it feels to live in the shadows, hoping not to be discovered so that you won't have to move your tent, again. This week, our new Rapid Re-housing program helped one client with serious health issues lay her head down at night in her very own bed in her very own apartment. She no longer has to look over her shoulder and wonder when she will be asked to "move along," and for the first time in 8 months, she can begin to focus on health, healing and getting a job in her new hometown. Wouldn't you like to be a part of this important work in our community? We really need your help! Our shelters open on Oct 15 and we still need about 30 more volunteers in order for them to be open every day. One four-hour shift, once a month is all we ask. Please call us at 815-942-3245 or email email@example.com if you can help.
BE A HERO! Our homeless shelter season starts Oct. 15. We have about half of the volunteers we need. If we don't have enough volunteers, it is possible the shelter will not be able to open some nights. Can you help? One four hour shift each month is all we ask. Just like a superhero, you will be saving people's lives. Better than a superhero...this is not a movie, these are real people. If you can help...please Comment below, send a PM, call our office at 815-942-3245 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know you want to take a shift and be a hero!
PADS Shelter Volunteers come in all shapes and sizes, and YOU are the perfect size and shape to fill one of our many shifts that have openings for 2018-19 season, which begins October 15. We know that most shifts end up depriving our dedicated volunteers of some sleep. That's why we ask that you just give four hours, one time each month. If everyone gives a little time, no one has to give a lot. It's very easy and rewarding work. You will be helping people stay warm and fed this winter. Please help! We need the most help on 2nd shift (10:45pm to 3am) and 3rd shift (2:45am to 7am)....any day of the week you are available for one of these shifts, please Comment below, send a private message to our page, call our office at 815-942-3245 or send an email to email@example.com. If you have questions or need more information, do not hesitate to call!
It's the simple things that mean the most. Through our new Rapid Rehousing Program, we were able to move another gentleman who has struggled with homelessness for a very long time into his own apartment today. What was he looking forward to the most (especially on this very hot day)? Taking a shower. A huge thanks to Minooka Bible Church who got him started off with some basic supplies (wash cloths and towels and soap from those supplies shown here), Hands of Dignity and Hope who are providing furniture items and the Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints for providing a mattress. It takes a village! Working together, we accomplish more! This is the 5th person we have assisted with housing since the program began in July.
Through the commitment of over 300 volunteers, Grundy Area PADS provides emergency shelters at local churches from Mid-October to Mid-April to people experiencing homelessness. In addition, PADS volunteers provide weekly St. Vincent’s Table meals year-round in both Morris and Coal City. PADS will continue to provide these vital services through the generosity and volunteerism of businesses and individuals throughout Grundy County.
Beginning in July 2018, Grundy Area PADS will launch a new program called “Phoenix Rising” that will be added to the umbrella of services PADS provides. Phoenix Rising is a rapid re-housing program that will provide those experiencing homelessness in our area with financial assistance toward housing and case management services to ensure that they are working toward achieving goals that will lead to self-sufficiency,
Research shows that rapid re-housing is the most successful method of helping those experiencing homelessness become self-reliant and self-sufficient. The goal of Phoenix Rising is to reduce and ultimately eliminate homelessness in our area.
The Grundy Area PADS season wrapped up last week with overnight sheltering at local churches. The counseling through Pathway of Hope is still available for our guests. The weekly St. Vincent Table dinners will also continue in the community. We are so thankful for all of the support & volunteers this past season! Here are some quick numbers on what this mission accomplished in our community:
- Total Guests Served 85
- Adult Guests 76, Child Guests 6
- Disabled Guests 10, Diagnosed Mentally Ill Guests 8, Veteran Guests 3
- Total number of overnight shelter stays served 2,364
- Average stays per Guest 27.8
- Total Volunteers Helping over 300
- Total Churches Hosting Sites 4
These statistics are so much more than numbers. They are people, and love and community. And these numbers make me proud to live in Grundy County!
Please take a moment to reflect on this story about our PADS mission:
“Today was one of those really beautiful early spring afternoons. You know the kind, where finally the pall of winter seems to be lifting. It may only be in the low 50s, but it feels like 70. The sun is shining with a light that seems to dance. The air smells crisp and clean. It was the kind of day where you can feel hopeful about whatever it is that may be troubling you. It was no surprise as I pulled up to the PADS shelter, then, to hear kids playing outside. Their laughter, though, was intermingled with laughter of a deeper octave, combined with calls to “Go long!” and praises such as, “Good catch!...” and more laughter. As I carried food into the shelter, I realized the kids I heard were the young boys that have been staying at PADS for most of this season. I figured they must be tossing the pigskin with their dad until I came around the corner and saw they were not playing with their dad (Dad arrived from work moments later…) but with other guys who’ve been staying in the shelter with them. If you could pluck these people out of this setting just outside of a homeless shelter and drop them into some other surrounding, they could be neighbors enjoying a block party or family members at a picnic. And, I suppose in a very real sense, they have become like family to each other. While we volunteers weave in and out of their community on the weekly or monthly basis that we help at PADS, these adults and children have shared evening meals and living space with each other, in some cases, for many months now. The relationships they’ve formed together as they share meals and conversation around the PADS dinner table every night during this long frigid winter are evident today. The children have been cared for not only by their parents and volunteers but by these new friends who probably feel more like family. PADS guests have been known to help the kids with homework, play games with them, work on puzzles and, on at least one occasion I’m aware of, a fellow PADS guest bought them juice boxes and snacks.
“Homeless” is not an adjective that anyone wants to claim. But, isn’t it a wonderful testament to the human spirit that even in the worst of times, we are capable of such kindness and caring for others? I don’t know why or how any of our guests became homeless. I know that each of them really would like this difficult chapter to end. Still, I am thankful, that during this season when we have had children in need of a warm place to sleep at night that they have been surrounded by some guardian angels disguised as homeless men and women.”
Thank you Denise Gaska for sharing that beautiful moment with all of us.!
Look at the incredible variety of food provided to our guests recently by Morris Hospital! Pork roast meals with mashed potatoes and gravy and mixed veggies! Chili! Burritos! And Strawberry Cheesecake to top it all off! Plus they sent a boatload of muffins for breakfast! Not only does Morris Hospital provide meals to fill our guests bellies many nights of the week, but they also provide the linens we need to wrap them in clean warmth at bedtime EVERY night! We are so fortunate to have a local hospital with a huge heart!!! Grundy Area PADS would be lost without Morris Hospital's consistent, kind and incomparable help!
Girl Scout Troop 70341 knows when you have a nowhere else to go a home cooked meal can seem like a world away. On March 7, 2018 they visited PADS at First United Methodist Church to make such a meal reality for PADS guests. As a result of the hard work of the girls and their parents a delicious meal of homemade lasagna, garlic bread, garden salad, fruit salad and some truly spectacular cookies was served. Thank you to everyone involved, especially Troop Leader Christy Lamaze and her husband Chris, for all of your kindness. If your group or organization would like to provide a meal please feel free to contact us. We would love have you join us!