To reshape the lives of homeless Chicagoans throughout our city, Run Home Chicago is gathering runners, walkers, our energy and our thoughts to emphasize the prevalence and state of our homeless population. While this is our first attempt in gathering a community of hundreds of Chicago’s runners and homelessness supporters for Run Home Chicago, Lincoln Park Community Shelter regularly uses community involvement to empower homeless men and women to make life changes. The Lincoln Park Community Shelter (LPCS) is a comprehensive social service agency serving adult men and women who are experiencing homelessness. Located in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood, the LPCS has been providing shelter and other basic needs to our homeless neighbors for 25 years. Today, the LPCS provides interim housing, meals, and a targeted array of social services to over 300 people each year.
The entire premise of creating an uplifting organization began when a group of concerned neighbors in the Lincoln Park area got together to discuss a way to help homeless people in their community. Given these concerns, a partnership was formed with four neighboring churches, and on February 12, 1985, the Lincoln Park Community Shelter opened its doors to a handful of homeless neighbors. And since its inception, and with 25 years of experience, LPCS has grown in terms of sleeping facilities, kitchen facilities, showers, storage rooms, the creation of a meal program, capcity for more beds and social serivces to help guests return to self sufficiency.
Lincoln Park Community Shelter has a variety of programs to help their clients get back on their own feet and lead stable lives. LPCS’s Intermin Housing Community currently serves up to 35 guests each night year-round, providing meals, storage space, showers and laundry facilities for guests. While an average length of stay is three moths, there is no time limit as long as guests are making progress toward their goals. LPCS also has an On Track Program, that provides employers with a list of resumes of their LPCS’s guests and Graduates; this program challenges guests to see beyond the present and immediate basic needs, and allows for them to plan ahead and look towards the future of achieving their goals. Guests can choose to follow more than one of the following tracks: Track 1: Addictions Recovery, Track 2: Mental & Physical Health, or Track 3: Employment & Education, with a goal of returning to self-sufficiency through improved social functioning and indepenedent living. Also, LPCS’s Graduate Community has continued access to services, including meals, rental assistance, access to donated items, case management and referrals and continued guidance and support of the LPCS community of stuaff, volunteers and other guests, a true embodiment of LPCS mission and community-based approach.
If you’d like to run the Run Home Chicago races on Lincoln Park Community Shelter’s team, please visit their Charity Profile Page on our website; they already have 33 runners!