Homelessness can strike anyone. In the U.S., most people are one rent payment away from potentially being on the street. And in today’s pandemic, more people are struggling, leading to homelessness and panhandling.
People panhandle for various reasons. It could be a loss of housing or income, mental health or substance abuse, or family issues that lead to isolation.
When you are experiencing homelessness, it affects a person’s dignity. The stress is high; you are in survival mode in part because of the lack of life’s basics: shelter, food, income, support.
In partnership with the Oak Park Homelessness Coalition, we are actively working to offer options and outline resources for those in need, as well as patrons of Downtown Oak Park to provide a safe and inviting environment for everyone in our downtown.
We urge you to treat people with compassion and dignity, which is why we have developed resources to help residents, businesses and those experiencing homelessness in our community.
So, what do you do if someone is in need of immediate shelter?
For Outreach Call:
Hours: 9-5pm, Amita Health after 5pm
RUSH OAK PARK OPERATING EMERGENCY WARMING CENTER:
Rush Oak Park Hospital operates an emergency warming shelter. It is located at 520 S Maple Ave.; enter through the old emergency room on the east end of the hospital on Wisconsin Ave. The center operates seven days a week from 8am to 6am; it is closed for two hours for cleaning and sanitation. Anyone who enters the hospital will have their temperature screened. There is also a universal masking policy in effect at the hospital.
Rush Oak Park is located at 520 S Maple, Oak Park but to the warming center is off Wisconsin Ave.
WEST SUBURBAN EMERGENCY WARMING CENTER:
West Suburban Medical Center is opening the emergency room, starting tonight, as a warming center open from 6pm to 8am with room for up to six people. Anyone using the warming center must remain in the Emergency Department and adhere to COVID
protocols including wearing a mask and remaining six feet apart. West Suburban is located at 3 Erie St, Oak Park.
GOOD SHEPARD LUTHERAN CHURCH EMERGENCY WARMING CENTER:
Good Shepard is operating as an emergency warming shelter that opens on Saturday, February 6 at 6pm and will remain open for about a week depending on weather, client need and volunteer staffing. Space will accommodate 10-12 adults Good Shepard Lutheran Church is located at 611 Randolph St, Oak Park.
Public restrooms are available in Austin Gardens.