To the Editor:
Thank you for your recent article educating the public on PADS (Public Action to Deliver Shelter).
Your article did not distinguish between the PADS facility on Kishwaukee Valley Road in Woodstock and the 10 church emergency shelters. The PADS facility is staffed by professionals who operate a transitional living facility, as well as various programs to assist homeless persons with job search, training, counseling and other matters.
Distinct from that facility are the 10 emergency shelters operating yearly from October to April in McHenry County churches. These sites, with some towns needing two sites to safely house their guests, open their doors one night each week. They serve 40 to 70 people, depending upon weather and other variables. The church sites are funded entirely by private donations and staffed entirely by volunteers.
The Woodstock site at Redeemer Lutheran Church receives support from over 10 religious and civic organizations that space does not allow us to thank here. Additionally, we have individuals, along with student groups from Woodstock and Marian Central high schools, who step forward to provide meals and lunches throughout the season.
In short, the Woodstock emergency homeless shelter on Wednesday evenings, along with the other church shelters, are perfect examples of people coming together to help their own community, without need for government assistance. Without the generosity and hard work of the participating religious groups, civic organizations, and concerned individuals, these shelters of last resort could not operate.
Pastor Tom Rogers
and Martin J. Coonen