Make 2017 a year of promise for the hungry and homeless in Chicagoland.

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Bed & Bread Club: Restoring Hope in Chicagoland

It’s more than just a meal or a room. A membership in the Bed & Bread Club helps bring hope to the hopeless, and change for those who once thought it impossible. Read these stories and discover the ways the Bed & Bread Club has helped hungry and homeless individuals throughout Chicagoland.
Battling Suburban Homelessness

You won’t meet many people quite like Bill and Debbi Middendorp. Twice a week, the couple loads up their Salvation Army van to drive through Wheeling, Prospect Heights, Des Plaines and Arlington Heights, distributing sandwiches, snacks, water and hygiene items to those sleeping on the streets. In 2016, they handed out 1,400 bags of food — approximately 4,200 meals.

The men and women the Middendorps have dedicated their lives to serving, often spend their nights sleeping in tents in forest preserves, huddled under tarps next to manufacturing facilities, or in train stations and bus depots. During the day, some work at jobs that provide just enough money to purchase scant fast food meals. Others spend their days sitting in public areas until they are asked to leave.

If possible, clients are moved into more stable housing or reunited with loved ones. The Middendorps helped one man secure a management position at a local business. That man later hired another client who was homeless. They both moved into a hotel, but because they were spending a large chunk of their paychecks on shelter they were unable to make their own meals. The Middendorps helped the men purchase a mobile home. Now they’re able to pay for their home, cook their own meals and save money for future emergencies.

If the Middendorps are not able to move people from the streets into stable housing, they try to offer practical help. “We help people fill out the forms for a state ID or a social security card, or to access their benefits,” Debbi says. “It is very rare for a person to be considered for an apartment or a job without proper identification.”

According to Captain David Martinez, an officer at the Des Plaines Corps Community Center, many of those served are employed as bellringers during the Christmas season and receive holiday assistance.

The Middendorps are dedicated to their work. “We’ve enjoyed getting to know each person and their stories,” says Debbi. “They’re all unique, but often filled with hopelessness, pain and loss.”

“We want to bring them hope and love.”

Feeding Chicago’s Hungry Families

Every morning, Timothy woke up with the same haunting thought: “How am I going to feed my family today?”

Timothy is on disability assistance, and relies on The Salvation Army to help provide enough food for himself, his wife and their son. That single check must cover rent, utilities, school, medical costs and the most basic of necessities: food. For Timothy, and the 812,000 individuals in Cook County who turn to pantries for groceries, food services like ours are a Godsend.

The Salvation Army operates 28 food pantries through corps community centers which provides canned fruits and vegetables, breads, snack items, frozen meats and other food items on a monthly basis.

In addition to their regular food pantry, The Salvation Army Chicago Lawn Corps Community Center, on Chicago’s southwest side, also operates a fresh produce pantry. Recipients can select from a wide variety of seasonal items including berries, oranges, greens and more.

For people in Timothy’s position, each visit to the pantry helps relieve their tight budgets. “Every little bit helps,” Timothy says. “Thanks to The Salvation Army my family gets a meal every night with fresh produce — bananas, peppers, onions and more.”

Keeping Families in Their Homes

Miranda is a single mother to three young children. She was employed and worked hard to support her family. But when she entered the hospital for a medical procedure, her life changed forever. There were complications with her surgery and she fell into a coma for several days. Ultimately, she lost a leg to amputation.

When she woke, Miranda found that due to her disability, she would be unable to perform her job duties. She was forced to apply for disability benefits. With modest child support and disability benefits not yet approved, Miranda fell behind on rent and utilities and had nothing for her children on Christmas morning.

She felt alone and forgotten. “I was going to die,” Miranda says. “I have three kids and nobody was there to help take care of them. I was so angry.”

That’s when she turned to The Salvation Army’s Pathway of Hope. For families like Miranda’s, who are already living on limited means and hovering on the brink of homelessness, a job loss, medical emergency or other issues can turn a difficult situation into a crisis. When this happens, Pathway of Hope caseworkers help families identify specific barriers to self-sufficiency, and ways to move past them. Then, together, they create an action plan for success.

Miranda’s caseworker at The Salvation Army Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Center not only worked with her to secure rent and utility payments, but also helped her obtain stable housing, reliable transportation and Christmas gifts for her children. The Salvation Army also provided her healthy food and helped purchase modest furniture.

Miranda now lives five minutes from the Kroc Center, in an apartment with her children. She is a member of the Corps church, and has found a solid support system to help her overcome her last few barriers.

“I’m grateful for how God has worked everything out for us,” she says. “Now that I’m getting back on my feet — literally — I plan on being there to welcome others to the Pathway of Hope, to the Kroc and to my God.”

Sheltering Chicago’s Homeless

Ray had a great life, and a great family. Then he watched it all collapse when his wife succumbed to addiction. “My three sons mean the world to me,” he says. “So… I took the responsibility of raising them myself.” Unfortunately, this wasn’t so simple. The unexpected drop to a single income left Ray unable to support his family. With no immediate safety net in place, they lost their house.

For a while, it felt like there weren’t any options in sight. But then Ray learned about our Evangeline Booth Lodge. “By the grace of God, we ended up at The Salvation Army. It was there that we were offered a second chance.”

Upon entering the shelter, Ray was able to enroll his sons in school and day care, which freed up time for him to look for work. Within a few weeks, he had found steady work. After saving up a small amount of money, the family moved into a new apartment. “As my boys and I were walking to our new apartment,” Ray recalls, “I turned back to the shelter and raised my hands in the air and yelled, ‘Thank you Salvation Army!’”

According to the City of Chicago’s Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS), in 2016, there were 5,800 homeless individuals like Ray and his family within the city limits.

The Salvation Army Evangeline Booth Lodge is one of Chicago’s only family shelters, keeping parents and children together during a time of intense crisis. The shelter provides a home for as many as 220 parents and children each night. Additionally, Booth Lodge also provides food, clothing, housing placement and job search assistance, as well as tutoring and after-school activities for children.

Because of our history and expertise in addressing homelessness, in October 2016, DFSS named the The Salvation Army as the designated agency for conducting all assessments and referrals for families who turn to the City for help finding shelter.

“I reached out to The Salvation Army because I knew that they would be the entity that could really help the City be more responsive when it comes to providing these services,” says Alissa Rodriguez, Deputy Commissioner of Homeless Programs for the DFSS.

The Salvation Army continues to work with city officials to address other ways to coordinate services and better serve those in need now and into the future.

Spread the word. Join the cause.

If you or a loved one are facing hunger or homelessness, please contact us.

Facebook

The Salvation Army Chicago Metropolitan Division shared ABC 7 Chicago's live video.

ABC 7 Chicago
We have an AMBER ALERT for a child from Joliet who went missing yesterday at 6:30 pm. The Salvation Army is assisting in the search and rescue and we are requesting volunteers to help with this.

If you are available please come to the Oak Valley School, 1705 Richards Street Joliet Illinois.

If you have questions please contact Sharon at 708-743-4615.

Thank you for your help.
... See MoreSee Less

BREAKING: Police and Dive crews are searching a pond in the area where 1-year-old Semaj Crosby was last seen yesterday in the area of Luana and Richards Street in Joliet township. Stay with ABC7 for the latest on the search. abc7.ws/2ovrkeO

Keynote Speaker Bob Newhart at 2017 Civic Luncheon
Join The Salvation Army on Friday, May 12th at Hilton Chicago for our annual civic luncheon featuring keynote speaker Bob Newhart. All proceeds benefit The Salvation Army right here in Chicagoland.
To register visit www.salarmychicago.org/civic #sacivic
... See MoreSee Less

Thanks to the wonderful employees from Allstate who came out to volunteer at Chicago Temple Corps Community Center. The group cleaned and painted several rooms which were in desperate need of some TLC. They brought enthusiasm and joy to the project and everyone had a great time, especially the staff who took true delight in the finished project! Thank you for a wonderful job! #NationalVolunteerWeek ... See MoreSee Less

Thanks to the wonderful employees from Allstate who came out to volunteer at Chicago Temple Corps Community Center. The group cleaned and painted several rooms which were in desperate need of some TLC. They brought enthusiasm and joy to the project and everyone had a great time, especially the staff who took true delight in the finished project!  Thank you for a wonderful job! #NationalVolunteerWeek

Camp Registration is open at The Salvation Army. Sign up at your local corps. Visit our list of locations at salar.my/camplocal ... See MoreSee Less

Camp Registration is open at The Salvation Army. Sign up at your local corps. Visit our list of locations at http://salar.my/camplocal

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Make 2017 a year of promise for the hungry and homeless in Chicagoland.

1080met_bb_soh_slider-1ko
1080met_bb_soh_slider-2ko
1080met_bb_soh_slider-3ko
1080met_bb_soh_slider-4ko

Bed & Bread Club: Restoring Hope in Chicagoland

It’s more than just a meal or a room. A membership in the Bed & Bread Club helps bring hope to the hopeless, and change for those who once thought it impossible. Read these stories and discover the ways the Bed & Bread Club has helped hungry and homeless individuals throughout Chicagoland.
Battling Suburban Homelessness

You won’t meet many people quite like Bill and Debbi Middendorp. Twice a week, the couple loads up their Salvation Army van to drive through Wheeling, Prospect Heights, Des Plaines and Arlington Heights, distributing sandwiches, snacks, water and hygiene items to those sleeping on the streets. In 2016, they handed out 1,400 bags of food — approximately 4,200 meals.

The men and women the Middendorps have dedicated their lives to serving, often spend their nights sleeping in tents in forest preserves, huddled under tarps next to manufacturing facilities, or in train stations and bus depots. During the day, some work at jobs that provide just enough money to purchase scant fast food meals. Others spend their days sitting in public areas until they are asked to leave.

If possible, clients are moved into more stable housing or reunited with loved ones. The Middendorps helped one man secure a management position at a local business. That man later hired another client who was homeless. They both moved into a hotel, but because they were spending a large chunk of their paychecks on shelter they were unable to make their own meals. The Middendorps helped the men purchase a mobile home. Now they’re able to pay for their home, cook their own meals and save money for future emergencies.

If the Middendorps are not able to move people from the streets into stable housing, they try to offer practical help. “We help people fill out the forms for a state ID or a social security card, or to access their benefits,” Debbi says. “It is very rare for a person to be considered for an apartment or a job without proper identification.”

According to Captain David Martinez, an officer at the Des Plaines Corps Community Center, many of those served are employed as bellringers during the Christmas season and receive holiday assistance.

The Middendorps are dedicated to their work. “We’ve enjoyed getting to know each person and their stories,” says Debbi. “They’re all unique, but often filled with hopelessness, pain and loss.”

“We want to bring them hope and love.”

Feeding Chicago’s Hungry Families

Every morning, Timothy woke up with the same haunting thought: “How am I going to feed my family today?”

Timothy is on disability assistance, and relies on The Salvation Army to help provide enough food for himself, his wife and their son. That single check must cover rent, utilities, school, medical costs and the most basic of necessities: food. For Timothy, and the 812,000 individuals in Cook County who turn to pantries for groceries, food services like ours are a Godsend.

The Salvation Army operates 28 food pantries through corps community centers which provides canned fruits and vegetables, breads, snack items, frozen meats and other food items on a monthly basis.

In addition to their regular food pantry, The Salvation Army Chicago Lawn Corps Community Center, on Chicago’s southwest side, also operates a fresh produce pantry. Recipients can select from a wide variety of seasonal items including berries, oranges, greens and more.

For people in Timothy’s position, each visit to the pantry helps relieve their tight budgets. “Every little bit helps,” Timothy says. “Thanks to The Salvation Army my family gets a meal every night with fresh produce — bananas, peppers, onions and more.”

Keeping Families in Their Homes

Miranda is a single mother to three young children. She was employed and worked hard to support her family. But when she entered the hospital for a medical procedure, her life changed forever. There were complications with her surgery and she fell into a coma for several days. Ultimately, she lost a leg to amputation.

When she woke, Miranda found that due to her disability, she would be unable to perform her job duties. She was forced to apply for disability benefits. With modest child support and disability benefits not yet approved, Miranda fell behind on rent and utilities and had nothing for her children on Christmas morning.

She felt alone and forgotten. “I was going to die,” Miranda says. “I have three kids and nobody was there to help take care of them. I was so angry.”

That’s when she turned to The Salvation Army’s Pathway of Hope. For families like Miranda’s, who are already living on limited means and hovering on the brink of homelessness, a job loss, medical emergency or other issues can turn a difficult situation into a crisis. When this happens, Pathway of Hope caseworkers help families identify specific barriers to self-sufficiency, and ways to move past them. Then, together, they create an action plan for success.

Miranda’s caseworker at The Salvation Army Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Center not only worked with her to secure rent and utility payments, but also helped her obtain stable housing, reliable transportation and Christmas gifts for her children. The Salvation Army also provided her healthy food and helped purchase modest furniture.

Miranda now lives five minutes from the Kroc Center, in an apartment with her children. She is a member of the Corps church, and has found a solid support system to help her overcome her last few barriers.

“I’m grateful for how God has worked everything out for us,” she says. “Now that I’m getting back on my feet — literally — I plan on being there to welcome others to the Pathway of Hope, to the Kroc and to my God.”

Sheltering Chicago’s Homeless

Ray had a great life, and a great family. Then he watched it all collapse when his wife succumbed to addiction. “My three sons mean the world to me,” he says. “So… I took the responsibility of raising them myself.” Unfortunately, this wasn’t so simple. The unexpected drop to a single income left Ray unable to support his family. With no immediate safety net in place, they lost their house.

For a while, it felt like there weren’t any options in sight. But then Ray learned about our Evangeline Booth Lodge. “By the grace of God, we ended up at The Salvation Army. It was there that we were offered a second chance.”

Upon entering the shelter, Ray was able to enroll his sons in school and day care, which freed up time for him to look for work. Within a few weeks, he had found steady work. After saving up a small amount of money, the family moved into a new apartment. “As my boys and I were walking to our new apartment,” Ray recalls, “I turned back to the shelter and raised my hands in the air and yelled, ‘Thank you Salvation Army!’”

According to the City of Chicago’s Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS), in 2016, there were 5,800 homeless individuals like Ray and his family within the city limits.

The Salvation Army Evangeline Booth Lodge is one of Chicago’s only family shelters, keeping parents and children together during a time of intense crisis. The shelter provides a home for as many as 220 parents and children each night. Additionally, Booth Lodge also provides food, clothing, housing placement and job search assistance, as well as tutoring and after-school activities for children.

Because of our history and expertise in addressing homelessness, in October 2016, DFSS named the The Salvation Army as the designated agency for conducting all assessments and referrals for families who turn to the City for help finding shelter.

“I reached out to The Salvation Army because I knew that they would be the entity that could really help the City be more responsive when it comes to providing these services,” says Alissa Rodriguez, Deputy Commissioner of Homeless Programs for the DFSS.

The Salvation Army continues to work with city officials to address other ways to coordinate services and better serve those in need now and into the future.

Spread the word. Join the cause.

If you or a loved one are facing hunger or homelessness, please contact us.

Facebook

The Salvation Army Chicago Metropolitan Division shared ABC 7 Chicago's live video.

ABC 7 Chicago
We have an AMBER ALERT for a child from Joliet who went missing yesterday at 6:30 pm. The Salvation Army is assisting in the search and rescue and we are requesting volunteers to help with this.

If you are available please come to the Oak Valley School, 1705 Richards Street Joliet Illinois.

If you have questions please contact Sharon at 708-743-4615.

Thank you for your help.
... See MoreSee Less

BREAKING: Police and Dive crews are searching a pond in the area where 1-year-old Semaj Crosby was last seen yesterday in the area of Luana and Richards Street in Joliet township. Stay with ABC7 for the latest on the search. abc7.ws/2ovrkeO

Keynote Speaker Bob Newhart at 2017 Civic Luncheon
Join The Salvation Army on Friday, May 12th at Hilton Chicago for our annual civic luncheon featuring keynote speaker Bob Newhart. All proceeds benefit The Salvation Army right here in Chicagoland.
To register visit www.salarmychicago.org/civic #sacivic
... See MoreSee Less

Thanks to the wonderful employees from Allstate who came out to volunteer at Chicago Temple Corps Community Center. The group cleaned and painted several rooms which were in desperate need of some TLC. They brought enthusiasm and joy to the project and everyone had a great time, especially the staff who took true delight in the finished project! Thank you for a wonderful job! #NationalVolunteerWeek ... See MoreSee Less

Thanks to the wonderful employees from Allstate who came out to volunteer at Chicago Temple Corps Community Center. The group cleaned and painted several rooms which were in desperate need of some TLC. They brought enthusiasm and joy to the project and everyone had a great time, especially the staff who took true delight in the finished project!  Thank you for a wonderful job! #NationalVolunteerWeek

Camp Registration is open at The Salvation Army. Sign up at your local corps. Visit our list of locations at salar.my/camplocal ... See MoreSee Less

Camp Registration is open at The Salvation Army. Sign up at your local corps. Visit our list of locations at http://salar.my/camplocal

Snapchat

snapchatchicagobg

Instagram