Grace Church is committed to reaching out to those in need, as God has called on us to do. By helping those in need—both within and outside of our congregation—we are made whole through those encounters.
Outreach at Grace Church falls into local and global categories.
Local Outreach Projects:
+ PADS/Housing Forward
For many years, Grace served those experiencing homelessness as a shelter site on Wednesdays from September through May. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Housing Forward discontinued using shelter sites for the safety of their guests and volunteers and moved clients into hotels. Housing Forward announced on June 16, 2020 that they are taking the next step in their response to the COVID-19 crisis by moving their clients into homes of their own. So, Grace is getting involved! Please see below.
Doing the Work of Jesus during the Pandemic: From the Outreach Committee
Dear People of Grace,
Not long ago, Grace received a message from Housing Forward (formerly PADS). As you know, Housing Forward coordinates shelter and services for people experiencing homelessness in our area.
The next step in our response to the COVID-19 crisis is to move our clients into homes of their own. We believe that no one sheltered temporarily due to the pandemic should return to the street.
Starting July 1, Housing Forward will begin to transition clients from temporary locations in motels/hotels into their own apartments. This is a major undertaking and we need the community’s help!
Our goal this summer is to collect 110 “Hotel to Home Kits” (that’s right, 110!) containing all the common household items necessary to change a house into a home, such as linens and towels, dishes, coffee pot, cleaning supplies, etc.
We are happy to report that thanks to the generosity of a number of parishioners, the Outreach Committee recently was able to donate approximately $1500 worth of household goods to Housing Forward (formerly PADS) for its "Hotel to Home" program.
Housing Forward will use the donated items – including cookware, dishes, bedding, lamps, cleaning supplies, toiletries, and much, much more – to furnish apartments for clients experiencing homelessness. Since the shelter-in-place order, the agency, headquartered in Maywood, has been housing approximately 110 persons in hotel rooms. The goal is to move these individuals into apartments.
Many thanks to those who organized this project and who donated. If you did not have a chance to participate, you can donate directly to Housing Forward at this link, or by calling Enid Johnson at 708-338-1724, ext. 220.
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Joint Partnership with Saint Christopher’s, Oak Park, and Saint Luke’s Church in Renk Town, South Sudan: We have been able to assist Saint Luke’s in obtaining a sound system, chairs and tents that they rent to help them sustain their ministry in Renk Town. The Rt. Rev. Joseph Atem, Bishop of Renk, visits annually to bring personal reports of life in South Sudan. The Episcopal Diocese of Chicago has a companion relationship with the Diocese of Renk, South Sudan.