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

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 brings hope to the hopeless, and change for those who once thought it impossible. Read these four stories of transformation in Chicagoland.
Virginia

Virginia and her teenage twins found themselves facing eviction after she lost her job and her children lost their disability benefits. After calling many shelters throughout Chicago for availability, Virginia reached The Salvation Army Evangeline Booth Lodge. She was told The Salvation Army was able to help, and so she and her family made their way to the city. Traveling from the western suburbs, they had to take several buses, two CTA El lines and walk a mile or more just to reach the family shelter. “We were exhausted,” Virginia said. “But the staff was so kind to us. They walked us through the process, and when we needed a moment to gather our thoughts and emotions, they gave us some privacy.”

The Booth Lodge is one of the few facilities that allow entire families to remain together through such difficult times. In most other facilities, families are split up sending men and children to separate facilities. And each family has their own room with a private bathroom. “We had our own bathroom, beds and a key! We had somewhere to shower and clean up,” said Virginia. “And we could stay together. That was so important.” Virginia said that they slept so well that first night, knowing they were somewhere safe.

Today, Virginia is addressing some health issues and working to improve her job prospects. Her daughter is attending a nearby school, and her son is preparing to return to school shortly. “The staff has really been supportive of my children going to school,” said Virginia. “They made sure Alicia had what she needed for her classes when she started this year.”

Edyta

Christmas is a time of joy and wonder. But for some, the holidays are not so joyous. Edyta and her family found themselves with nothing when the family’s construction company and restaurant failed in the aftermath of the economic downturn. The family, themselves long-time supporters of The Salvation Army, was now forced to turn to others for help with basic necessities.

Edyta visited the Norridge Corps Community Center to inquire about the food pantry program. After meeting with the staff members and sharing her story, she was told that not only would her family be eligible for the food pantry program, but they would also receive a holiday meal basket with a ham and all the sides.

For the first time in two years, there would be a holiday meal and presents under the tree. There would be a happy Christmas in their home. “I was so overwhelmed with the kindness and understanding,” Edyta said.

The Salvation Army continues to support Edyta’s family as they work to get back on their feet. “I am so grateful for the help,” she said. “I can’t wait until I have the opportunity to repay the generosity and help someone else.”

Nettie

For several years, Nettie Harris and her teenage son found themselves with insecure housing. Nettie lost her job as an airport dispatcher and quickly fell behind in paying bills, including the mortgage. Unable to keep their home, they moved to Indiana where Nettie pursued a new career.

Unable to find a permanent job, and with unemployment benefits running out, Nettie and her son had to move again. They lived with several different relatives and friends, and sometimes lived apart. Eventually there was nobody else to help; Nettie and her son were on their own. “I wasn’t going to let my son sleep in a car or on the street,” Nettie said.

She began searching for shelters and was referred to The Salvation Army Evangeline Booth Lodge. “I called at 9 a.m. and there were no rooms available, but a staff member called back two hours later to tell me there was room for us.”

While staying at the Booth Lodge, Nettie enrolled in a job readiness program to improve her job skills, resume and interviewing ability. Her son registered for classes at Harold Washington College. They both had medical appointments for the first time in years. “This whole process matured us,” Nettie said. They eventually moved in with Nettie’s daughter.

Today Nettie serves as an information attendant greeting visitors, answering questions and providing tours at The Salvation Army’s Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Center. She recently moved into her own apartment, but says she won’t forget her struggles. “Until you’re homeless, you don’t know what it’s like to be homeless. These people are truly struggling.”

Kathy

Kathy fled North Carolina with her three young daughters because of domestic battery. She came to Chicago to stay with her cousin, and found safety and security for a few months.

A computer business analyst, she needed to earn certification in Illinois in order to secure a job in her field. But before Kathy could get back on her feet, her cousin lost her job. Eventually her cousin, Kathy and the children were all evicted. Never imagining that she would become homeless, she was referred to The Salvation Army and moved into the Evangeline Booth Lodge. The Salvation Army gave them food and shelter, and helped Kathy navigate social services and begin the process of securing permanent housing.

Today, Kathy’s children are attending a dual-language charter school, and Kathy is attending Microsoft Computer Certification classes at a community college. She will be forever thankful for the assistance of The Salvation Army. She says the adjustment has been hard, but that The Salvation Army has given her hope for the future.

Spread the word. Join the cause.

Facebook

Spring Cleaning
It's that time of year for spring cleaning! When you donate goods to The Salvation Army, proceeds are used to fund our Adult Rehabilitation Centers, where those with addiction find help, hope, and a second chance at life: salar.my/springthrift
... See MoreSee Less

Snapchat

snapchatchicagobg

Instagram

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

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 brings hope to the hopeless, and change for those who once thought it impossible. Read these four stories of transformation in Chicagoland.
Virginia

Virginia and her teenage twins found themselves facing eviction after she lost her job and her children lost their disability benefits. After calling many shelters throughout Chicago for availability, Virginia reached The Salvation Army Evangeline Booth Lodge. She was told The Salvation Army was able to help, and so she and her family made their way to the city. Traveling from the western suburbs, they had to take several buses, two CTA El lines and walk a mile or more just to reach the family shelter. “We were exhausted,” Virginia said. “But the staff was so kind to us. They walked us through the process, and when we needed a moment to gather our thoughts and emotions, they gave us some privacy.”

The Booth Lodge is one of the few facilities that allow entire families to remain together through such difficult times. In most other facilities, families are split up sending men and children to separate facilities. And each family has their own room with a private bathroom. “We had our own bathroom, beds and a key! We had somewhere to shower and clean up,” said Virginia. “And we could stay together. That was so important.” Virginia said that they slept so well that first night, knowing they were somewhere safe.

Today, Virginia is addressing some health issues and working to improve her job prospects. Demetrius is planning to go back to college in the spring. His twin sister, Alicia, is already attending school at nearby Olivet Nazarene University. “The staff has really been supportive of my children going to school,” said Virginia. “They made sure Alicia had what she needed for her classes and dorm room when school started this year.”

Edyta

Christmas is a time of joy and wonder. But for some, the holidays are not so joyous. Edyta and her family found themselves with nothing when the family’s construction company and restaurant failed in the aftermath of the economic downturn. The family, themselves long-time supporters of The Salvation Army, was now forced to turn to others for help with basic necessities.

Edyta visited the Norridge Corps Community Center to inquire about the food pantry program. After meeting with the staff members and sharing her story, she was told that not only would her family be eligible for the food pantry program, but they would also receive a holiday meal basket with a ham and all the sides.

For the first time in two years, there would be a holiday meal and presents under the tree. There would be a happy Christmas in their home. “I was so overwhelmed with the kindness and understanding,” Edyta said.

The Salvation Army continues to support Edyta’s family as they work to get back on their feet. “I am so grateful for the help,” she said. “I can’t wait until I have the opportunity to repay the generosity and help someone else.”

Nettie

For several years, Nettie Harris and her teenage son found themselves with insecure housing. Nettie lost her job as an airport dispatcher and quickly fell behind in paying bills, including the mortgage. Unable to keep their home, they moved to Indiana where Nettie pursued a new career.

Unable to find a permanent job, and with unemployment benefits running out, Nettie and her son had to move again. They lived with several different relatives and friends, and sometimes lived apart. Eventually there was nobody else to help; Nettie and her son were on their own. “I wasn’t going to let my son sleep in a car or on the street,” Nettie said.

She began searching for shelters and was referred to The Salvation Army Evangeline Booth Lodge. “I called at 9 a.m. and there were no rooms available, but a staff member called back two hours later to tell me there was room for us.”

While staying at the Booth Lodge, Nettie enrolled in a job readiness program to improve her job skills, resume and interviewing ability. Her son registered for classes at Harold Washington College. They both had medical appointments for the first time in years. “This whole process matured us,” Nettie said. They eventually moved in with Nettie’s daughter.

Today Nettie serves as an information attendant greeting visitors, answering questions and providing tours at The Salvation Army’s Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Center. She recently moved into her own apartment, but says she won’t forget her struggles. “Until you’re homeless, you don’t know what it’s like to be homeless. These people are truly struggling.”

Kathy

Kathy fled North Carolina with her three young daughters because of domestic battery. She came to Chicago to stay with her cousin, and found safety and security for a few months.

A computer business analyst, she needed to earn certification in Illinois in order to secure a job in her field. But before Kathy could get back on her feet, her cousin lost her job. Eventually her cousin, Kathy and the children were all evicted. Never imagining that she would become homeless, she was referred to The Salvation Army and moved into the Evangeline Booth Lodge. The Salvation Army gave them food and shelter, and helped Kathy navigate social services and begin the process of securing permanent housing.

Today, Kathy’s children are attending a dual-language charter school, and Kathy is attending Microsoft Computer Certification classes at a community college. She will be forever thankful for the assistance of The Salvation Army. She says the adjustment has been hard, but that The Salvation Army has given her hope for the future.

Spread the word.
Join the cause.

Facebook

Spring Cleaning
It's that time of year for spring cleaning! When you donate goods to The Salvation Army, proceeds are used to fund our Adult Rehabilitation Centers, where those with addiction find help, hope, and a second chance at life: salar.my/springthrift
... See MoreSee Less

Snapchat

snapchatchicagobg

Instagram