The past 18 months have been a challenge for us all. The struggles of everyday life struck those experiencing homelessness particularly hard. Because congregate settings were impossible to safely maintain, our PADS clients were moved to two Downers Grove motels. Over the past year, many of us have delivered meals to those motel sites. By necessity, the interaction with guests has been limited. Like all of you, I miss the chance to spend time talking with our guests and most of all, to serve them a home cooked meal. However, It is important to always remember that their well being should always be our top concern.
In light of this, I am happy to share that PADS will be making some significant changes. In August, they shared their plans to purchase a motel in Downers Grove, where guests can live as they transition to more permanent housing. While there may be a need for congregate shelter as they transition, the goal is to no longer house guests in this way. If all goes as planned, the future PADS site will house families and place individuals with roommates. This will not be permanent housing, but a means of transitioning clients out of homelessness. Along with guest rooms, there will be additional space for support offices and congregate gatherings. However, the traditional communal shelter will no longer exist.
Below is a video message from April Redzic, President of Dupage PADS, regarding this change: https://youtu.be/B9xGDaLsCh4
So what does this mean for our PADS program? While it is certain that things will look different in the future, PADS is very clear that they want us to remain partners. We will learn more about our new role in the coming months, but for now, here are some ways you can help support Dupage PADS:
1. Show your support for the new PADS site by adding your name to their official application. This is an important part of ensuring community support: https://endhomelessnesstogether.org
2. Register for the 2021 Run 4 Home, a 5k walk/run, held virtually and in person on September 26th: https://dupagepads.org/run-4-home-2021/
3. Register as a volunteer: https://volunteer.dupagepads.org/user/register
4. Donate to support their immediate needs: https://dupagepads.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/Donation-Needs-Final.pdf or https://dupagepads.org/donate/
5. Sign up for Amazon Smile and designate Dupage PADS as your charity: https://smile.amazon.com/gp/chpf/dashboard?ref_=nav_cs_smile_b1f21ad5c4a744c78bee00dd37233e42
Please feel free to reach out with any questions you may have. Otherwise, I will be in touch as things progress.
As always, thank you for your support.