For Immediate Release
630.682.3846 Ext. 2310
Director of Development
630.682.3846 Ext. 2220
Home for the Holidays!
“The happiest Christmas story.”
WHEATON, ILLINOIS – DuPage PADS is celebrating the 12 days of the holiday season by welcoming formerly homeless families and individuals into 12 new apartments and a place they will call home for the holidays! The staff is busy finalizing apartment leases, securing furniture and getting move in schedules arranged. Families and individuals are eager to open their new doors this holiday season.
People become homeless for a variety of reasons often beginning with a series of events that spiral downward beyond their control and leave them feeling powerless and hopeless. Homelessness is not a choice. It can happen to anyone.
Kristen has been homeless for the last 4 1⁄2 years after working for 32 years. “I’m so excited to have my own place, to decorate and to be with my son and granddaughter for the holidays. This will be the happiest Christmas I’ve had in ten years,” says Kristen.
In 2009 Carl Smith was laid off from his job, temporary positions could not pay the bills, and the family lost their home as his wife continues to be challenged with a disabling health condition. On December 12, the Smith family will move into their new home, “thanking God that we have a home and for DuPage PADS,” said Mr. Smith. “Mrs. Smith is excited to “cook a good hot meal for her boys.” Their 14 year old son who attends a local high school just wants to invite friends over and show them his own home.
Paul says that DuPage PADS has been a life saver to him, “When I didn’t have a place to stay, DuPage PADS gave me housing and nourishment. They have been so supportive to me and helped me change my life through their services. The best thing is that I have reunited with my sisters after a 15 year gap.”
Carol Simler, Executive Director of DuPage PADS notes, “The instability of homelessness results in the neglect of children’s healthcare, proper nutrition and education. DuPage PADS served 236 children last year, a 39% increase over the previous year.”
DuPage PADS provides a wide array of professional services beyond the familiar “PADS” overnight shelters supported by more than 130 community congregations and organizations and 4,000 volunteers. Overnight shelters act as the first step in the assessment process for individuals and families entering the PADS support network. From there, families and individuals at PADS move into counseling with an assigned life coach, guided goal planning, support groups, counseling, parenting classes, educational opportunities, employment preparation and placement.
Arlene’s serious medical condition led to challenges and eventually homelessness. “Getting an apartment means calm, stability and peace,” said Arlene. Thinking of her new home, Arlene added, “I can’t wait to get some real rest – it is difficult to sleep at night with people at the overnight sites. With stability now, I hope to get back to school, volunteer and sing at church.” DuPage PADS was able to help Arlene through established partnerships with more than 50 health, legal and social service agencies.
Through DuPage Pads, children and families have a place to call home again; individuals can work towards their full potential; and for these 12 new households, their holiday season dreams of a home have become a reality. Happy Holidays indeed!
DuPage PADS, founded in 1985, is the largest provider of interim (overnight) housing, the largest provider of permanent supportive housing in DuPage County and the acknowledged leader in ending homelessness through individual support services ranging from counseling and education to employment preparation and placement. The DuPage PADS administration offices are located at 601 W. Liberty, Wheaton, IL 60187. Additional information can be obtained by contacting DuPage PADS at 630.682.3846 or at www.dupagepads.org.