MVCC Service Learning Event: PADS


South Suburban PADS (Public Action to Deliver Shelter)

As you know, this semester our research and writing will be focused on service, civic engagement, and community action. During the first half of our semester, or so, I am working to arrange a number of service experiences for you to participate in. I will ask that everybody participate in at least one of these service opportunities during the first half of the semester. I understand that everyone is very busy, has other commitments, and will find it challenging to schedule this kind of work into their lives; however, I also know that this work is essential. So, I ask that you be as flexible as you can. Of course even with flexibility on your part, I understand that the particular opportunities I’ve arranged just might not work for you. If that is the case, it is up to you to arrange another service experience on your own that can fit your schedule. (I’ll will try to work with you to offer ideas where I can, but ultimately it would be your responsibility to find such an opportunity. They’re not hard to find. Just be sure to approve it with me first.) Fair enough? I think so.

I’ve already shared information with you about several service opportunities, and many of you signed-up to attend one of those events. Another service opportunity I have arranged is through South Suburban PADS–a local organization creating a network of overnight accommodations primarily set up in churches for people struggling with homelessness. Two of PADS locations are within minutes of campus, one of which I have arranged for a very small group of us to volunteer with. To give you some sense of PADS, I have included a short video documentary from PADS of Lake County. I could not find a comparable video for South Suburban PADS. (Maybe someone could create one as part of their service-learning work this semester.) However, I think this video gives you an idea of what PADS is all about even if the exact details do not match the South Suburban chapter.

A Brief History of SSPADS

In 1990 the Homewood-Flossmoor League of Women Voters and the Chicago Heights Ministerial Association convened a series of meetings, including 250 local stakeholders, to address the growing issue of homelessness in the communities which comprise the far south region of suburban Cook County, Illinois. Their efforts resulted in the formation of a grassroots, faith-community based organization known as South Suburban PADS (Public Action to Deliver Shelter). Over the first 19 years of operation, South Suburban PADS has developed partnerships with 10,222 volunteers, over 250 faith communities and community-based organizations and 50+ social service agencies to provide a continuum of 11 housing and supportive service programs which annually serve 1,200 men, women and children. Today, South Suburban PADS homeless service programs serve 52 municipalities in the south and southwest suburbs through 29 shelter sites situated in 13 communities and two service centers located in Chicago Heights and Oak Lawn, Illinois. Throughout its history, South Suburban PADS programs have assisted 9,512 people by providing 294,121 nights of shelter, 905,450 meals, 106,000 days of supportive services and 16,836 medical visits.

PADS Mission

South Suburban PADS is an interfaith program providing shelter and supportive services to homeless persons. Compassion, hospitality and dignity are key characteristics of the PADS program.

Your Chance to Help

I have arranged a service-learning outing to the PADS shelter located at the Southwest Alliance Korean Church. This is a overnight men’s shelter just down the street on Kean Avenue. There is only room for three students to participate for this event. Your time at the shelter, should you decide to volunteer, will include setting up, preparing and serving food to the men. The details of this scheduled event and how to sign-up if you want to are below. Please check it out.

The Event Details

Date: Monday, March 4 (Monday, April 1 and Monday, April 8 are also available but not for the “Critical Reflection of Service” paper.)
Time: 6:30 PM – 9:30 PM
Location: Southwest Alliance Korean Church at 9855 S Kean Ave Palos Hills, IL 60465
Phone: (708) 599-8282

Directions from Moraine

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Want to do it? Here’s how.

If you’d like to participate in this event, put your name on the sign-up sheet I sent around in class or e-mail to let me know right away. If you send an e-mail, please mention the name of this trip and how many people you will be bringing with you, if any. I need an RSVP from you by Noon on Friday, February 22.

  1. Sign-up to attend this volunteer event at the PADS shelter by clicking the link below, which will take you to the “contact the professor” form for our class. Be sure to mention the name of the trip, so I know for which one you are signing up, let me know if and how many people you will be bringing with you, and whether you need a ride (or can offer a ride).
  2. Note the following: As a part of this service outing, you may be asked to bring some food to contribute to feeding the gentlemen staying in the shelter. (There is a standing list of items that needs to be purchased. It can be divided up. This is part of what the volunteers do there.) If you are interested in this event, ask about these details.
  3. Again, if you’d like to participate in this service learning opportunity, you need to sign-up for it by no later than 2/8. This is really important, as the HFH needs a final head count from us by this time. Thanks.

Can’t make this event?

Like I said, if you can’t make this event, I understand. I have already or will arrange other service outings that might suit you better. If the above opportunity works for your schedule, though, please sign-up for it rather than put this off. It feels good to be of service, and it will provide us opportunity to learn and write about important issues.

A Connected Writing Assignment

Whether you choose this service opportunity, another one that I have arranged, or one of your own finding or design, I will ask that you to complete a connected writing assignment–a reflection of service. Let me know if you have questions. The details of this assignment will be released soon if they are not already.

This history comes directly from The Chicago Community Trust