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Brighter Future for Those Experiencing Homelessness

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As the winter freeze approaches, the reality is that men, women and children are in need of shelter and support on any given night in McHenry County. While there are many individual circumstances that affect the length of homelessness, any individual may be one life event away from experiencing it. For the last 12 years, McHenry County PADS (Public Action to Deliver Shelter) has been a vital program of Pioneer Center for Human Services. The program has provided the basic needs for those experiencing homelessness.

Pioneer Center is currently in the process of expanding to provide services to even more people in need. "What people don't realize is how many families with young children we serve at any given time," explained Randy Leggee, Director of Fund Development for Pioneer Center. "During the past year, we've provided shelter for 11 families with 25 children."

In early 2020, Pioneer Center will transition its services from its current 34-bed shelter in Woodstock to a 70-bed shelter at The Chapel in McHenry. The new shelter will continue to operate year-round 24 hours a day. "We're proud of how we've helped 220 individuals this past year and look forward to having the capacity to assist even more," added Leggee.

The other thing many people don't realize is what it takes to run a shelter that houses, feeds, and provides safety to those in need. "Only 30% of our costs are covered by government funds," said Leggee. "The rest comes from private donations. A monthly gift can provide transportation to emergency shelter, food, transportation, case management and linkage to resources changing the future of many.

The holiday season of giving is a perfect time to support Pioneer Center and the critical services it provides to the community.

To donate or for more information please visit www.pioneercenter.org/pads-donation/

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