By HM staff

Our generous community is amazing! Since the pandemic we have received incredible support from public and private funds, to individual donors, to maintain our hotel-based emergency shelters for families and individuals. Additionally, tens of thousands of donated goods have been collected and hundreds of volunteers are helping us distribute them to keep clients fed and safely supplied on their path to housing. These accomplishments have paved the way forward to our biggest opportunity yet…an Interim Housing Center. Since March 2020, 558 individuals, including 130 children, have advanced toward housing stability in our donor supported hotel-based Emergency Housing. 244 of those clients have since transitioned to stable housing with more reaching a home of their own weekly. This approach to shelter has
facilitated an 80% reduction in mental health incidents and a 75% reduction in physical health-related incidents including the flu and other respiratory illnesses. As of this November, 222 clients are currently in the hotel-based shelter seeking a place to call home, including 70 children, and a total of 95,427 nights of shelter have been provided including 153,347 meals.

During COVID-19 our work transformed for the safety of our clients, volunteers, and community. The overwhelming positive outcomes experienced during the transition to our services have brought us to next crucial step to end homelessness: an Interim Housing Center! With the community’s support, we are working to raise funds to purchase and repurpose a Downers Grove hotel currently in our use to maintain shelter and support far beyond the pandemic. An I.H.C. will prioritize rooms for families with children, individuals with mobility issues, and those fleeing domestic violence. Parents experiencing homelessness are often reluctant to utilize congregate shelters because they need privacy, stability, and space for their children. We are so fortunate that many of our volunteers have stayed connected to our clients and our mission despite a dangerous pandemic. From virtual volunteer opportunities, to creating boredom-busting kits for children in shelter, to on-site food deliveries and many other kindness projects. Our volunteers are the ones keeping our spirits up and lifting the hearts and lives of our clients so they may restore their hope and go on to be successful. They truly are the key to our solutions for ending homelessness and we could not do our vital work without them. Your help can keep more families and individuals safely housed tonight and for many years to come. Please consider signing up to volunteer at https://volunteer.dupagepads.org or providing a gift and learning about the Interim Housing Center Campaign opportunities at www.dupagepads.org/donate.

*Photo provided by DuPagePads

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