Loyola Housing Forward

Loyola Housing Forward is looking for Loyola students, staff and faculty to get involved with the West Suburban PADS shelter and help with its upcoming shelter dinners. The shelter provides immediate, temporary crisis response for 40 to 70 guests from the Maywood/Oak Park community from mid-September through mid-May. 

The PADS shelter is just one division of Housing Forward, which is the “only social service agency in west Cook County with a comprehensive housing and services solution for transitioning individuals and families out of homelessness”. Guests are provided with shelter, a sit down dinner, as well as breakfast and a sack lunch the following morning.

Loyola students have been volunteering with the overnight shelter as well as packing sack lunches for our guests. Last year, a few of them had the opportunity to provide service through the PADS dinner, allowing them the opportunity to better know the guests as well their current living situations from which they were working with PADS to transition out of. 

Each month the group returned to the shelter, guests were thrilled to share their success stories of finding employment and their apartment searches. 

In order for members of the Loyola community to become more involved in our surrounding community, the Loyola Housing Forward student group is working with PADS to host 4 of the shelter dinners within the upcoming shelter season. It will be a huge undertaking (serving around 60 hungry guests!), so Loyola Housing Forward would appreciate your help!

All of the dinners will take place at Oak Park Temple on Harlem and Division.  There are four dates for which Loyola is signed up to provide dinner:

  • Tuesday, 10/22/19
  • Tuesday, 11/12/19
  • Tuesday, 12/3/19
  • Tuesday, 1/7/20

What We Need Help With

Funding: Feeding 60 people is expensive. Dinner typically consists of a small salad, bread and butter, a main course (lasagna/pasta, a non-pork meat/potatoes, casserole and vegetables), dessert, a few gallons of milk and a few gallons of juice. We are estimating $350 per dinner. You are welcome to donate particular items or split the total cost of dinner between a few departments. 

Cooking: Last year, it worked really well when the medical department that sponsored the dinner pre-made the food, brought it to the temple and then warmed the food there. This method maximized dinner preparation efficiency, rather than cooking the food at the temple. If you need help preparing food, there are excited medical student volunteers to help!  

Alternatives: Another option last year that worked for the sponsoring medical department(s) included ordering food or providing funds to the Loyola Housing Forward Student Group so that it could order the food. 

Final assembly/ Serving: Finally, once food is transported to the food shelter, it needs some finishing touches (cutting everything into portions) before being served to the guests. To make sure everything runs smoothly, Loyola Housing Forward would ideally like 3 extra people at the shelter. Dinner begins at 7:30pm, so please arrive at the shelter at 7:00pm. Dinner typically runs approximately 1 hour.

If you or your department would like to be involved, please email housingforwardssom@gmail.com.