By ANN PIASECKI, Catholic Explorer
ROMEOVILLE—On benches within the wide expanse of community parks, under bridges, in forest preserves, desolate back alleys or abandoned vehicles, the homeless seek an isolated spot where they can close their eyes and dream of a life that refuses to define every moment as a crisis or each meal as a victory over starvation. During the warm months, from May through September, the bulk of overnight services for the dispossessed shut their doors to recoup and take a break from the grueling regimen of providing a steady source of overnight shelter during the traditionally colder months in the Midwest.
Kathleen Johnson, director of development for the chief nonprofit social service agency in DuPage County that deals specifically with the population of homeless, the lack of emergency shelter in the spring and summer months is like a wound that refuses to heal. With upwards of 2,000 men, women and children classified as homeless and dependent on DuPage County’s Public Action to Deliver Shelter for emergency shelter or housing assistance, lining up potential resources is an ominous endeavor.