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Housing Forward (formerly PADS) operates an overnight homeless shelter for individuals and families experiencing homelessness. This shelter was opened for a trial run in January 2023 and became a permanent service in May 2023.
They have supplies, now they just need the hands and hearts of those who can volunteer – to make & serve food, check in clients, help set up and break down sleeping areas, and keep the shelter running smoothly. Dinner, breakfast, and to-go lunch are contributed and served by volunteers. Volunteers assist Housing Forward staff who are present onsite.
Oak Park Temple has committed to volunteering at this shelter regularly on Thursday nights and Friday mornings. 

Sign up here.
Here are the main details:
Location: Rectory of St. Catherine of Siena church, 38 Austin Blvd, Oak Park. [Use side entrance in parking lot.]
Shelter Hours (for clients): 6:30pm - 6:30am; 7 days/week
MEALS: Provide Hot Dinner, Bagged Lunch, or Continental Breakfast for 20. Volunteers may wish to work together to meet this need.

Dinner--Prepare to serve buffet style. 
Lunch--Individual lunches, ideally including sandwiches, fruit, and a granola bar
Breakfast--Grab-and-go, such as yogurt cups, individually-wrapped muffins, cereal bars, etc.

Note: If you are able to prepare but not deliver, another volunteer could pick up from you and deliver to St. Catherine's.
VOLUNTEER SHIFTS: Evening and Morning Hosts

Evening Host (6:30pm - 10pm): Volunteers help get set-up for the evening, greet the shelter guests as they arrive help them to set up their sleeping area, host dinner, and interact with clients until lights out. Children can accompany adults for a family volunteer experience.
Morning Host (5am -7am):  Volunteers serve a light breakfast, help shelter guests exit and assist with light clean-up.
OPT contact:

Jenna Holzberg at
Rabbi Kirzane at

Housing Forward contact:
Cherrell Jackson at
Volunteer & Community Outreach Manager
708.338.1724 x201

Sign up to volunteer today.

You can also donate to support this project. (Type Housing Forward into the notes box). Please consider the following guidelines

$180 sponsors dinner
$72 sponsors lunch
$36 sponsors breakfast

Housing Forward

The Prophets exhort us to follow a long-standing tradition of hospitality among the Jewish people. Our own recent history, with its exiles and expulsions, reminds us that we have a special obligation to provide for those with no protection.

Oak Park Temple has met that obligation for nearly two decades. We are a founding congregation of Housing Forward (formerly West Suburban PADS), a non-profit agency created in 1992 to provide emergency food and shelter to homeless individuals and families in west suburban Cook County.

Since its founding, Housing Forward has grown from providing emergency food and shelter to homeless individuals and families to offering a holistic approach to helping those in need.

Learn more about Housing Forward.

Sign up to volunteer here...


Tue, May 28 2024 20 Iyar 5784