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Simler: 7 things you didn't know about DuPagePads

Community voice

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014 1:48 p.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, July 25, 2014 4:43 a.m. CDT
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Carol Simler

What’s your New Year’s resolution? At DuPagePads we are committed to our mission to end homelessness. Though we have worked in the community for 28 years, many might not be aware of the seven facts listed below.

Did you know?

1. We have the comprehensive solution to end homelessness.

The interim (overnight) housing sites are just one of the services we provide in our comprehensive solution to end homelessness. We also have a Client Service Center open weekdays, which provides basic needs, support groups and case management; an employment program which partners with 31 employers in the community; and a permanent supportive housing program with 76 apartments throughout the county.

2. We serve our neighbors.

Seventy one percent of the people we serve listed their last address in DuPage County.

3. We have seen a 44 percent increase in the number of children and 35 percent increase in families over the last two years.

To accommodate these families, we provide a family outreach program for participants in temporary housing, staying with friends or in hotels. Case managers ensure these families stay linked to community resources and create a plan for permanent housing. Last year this program served 199 individuals; 64 percent are now in stable housing, including 44 adults and 84 children.

4. Our greatest need for volunteers is in the spring and summer.

As the seasons change, our interim (overnight) housing sites change as well. With these shifts and volunteers’ vacations, we always need additional volunteers.

5. We have a new respite program.

This short-term residential program allows individuals who are homeless to have the opportunity to rest after being discharged from a hospital, while providing access to medical care, support services and options for housing. The respite program has served 44 individuals and 45 percent are now in stable housing.

6. Our new online volunteer training launched this month.

This training was made possible by a grant from the Spirit of Volunteerism Fund of The DuPage Community Foundation. Volunteers are able to access a web-based training on topics such as crisis intervention, risk management and volunteer responsibilities. Crucial education will be provided to our volunteers in a convenient setting.

7. On March 6, 2014, we will be hosting our 8th Annual Taste of Hope.

The Taste of Hope offers guests the experience to dine at 25 restaurants in one evening. Leading area restaurants will serve their signature dish with wine pairings, auctions, raffles and more! New this year … mobile bidding for added convenience. Learn more here: www.dupagepads.org/events/.

We need your support and hope to partner with you in the New Year.

Carol Simler is the executive director of DuPagePads

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