About Hesed House
In the early 1980s, religious leaders of six Aurora churches and other concerned citizens formed a grassroots coalition to shelter, feed and clothe homeless individuals and families found walking the streets in adverse weather conditions. Rotating among the six church halls each night to provide a port in the storm for this struggling group, a core of volunteers prepared and served food at the churches – not just for the lone person who showed up the first night of shelter – but for the growing number of homeless who appeared at church doors each night.
The coalition approached City of Aurora leaders imploring them to help find a better solution to shelter, feed and care for this group of human beings caught in desperate situations. At that time, the City of Aurora’s former incinerator was available for sale and proposed as an option for providing services and shelter under one roof at an out–of–the–way location, yet on a bus route for access by the population who would be served at Hesed House and who did not have transportation. Thus was the creation of Hesed House.
Today, Hesed House is the second largest shelter in the State of Illinois, and the largest shelter outside of the city of Chicago. With the help of professional staff, alliances with outside agencies and 6,000 volunteers from 70 area churches, almost one thousand individuals (including 188 children) are served each year through Hesed House’s shelter and three housing programs. Hesed House sees 16 newly homeless individuals each week – that’s one new homeless individual every 8 1/2 hours. Hesed House strives to get 16 or 17 individuals out of homelessness each week.
With Hesed House’s Help:
- 45% of adults who stayed in the PADS Program 30 days or longer will find employment.
- 5% will receive further education; 20% will find some type of housing.
- 15% with mental health issues will enroll in treatment.
- 20% with substance abuse issues will enroll in treatment.
- 93% of the adults enrolled in the on-site Waubonsee Community College Job Skills Training Program will complete the course and receive a graduation certificate.
- The PADS® Overnight Emergency Shelter (Public Action to Deliver Shelter) provides food, shelter, laundry facilities, and on–site counseling for 155 to 207 individuals each night.
- 50% of the adults in the PADS Program are employed. 100% of the adults in the TLC Program are either employed, seeking employment or seeking disability benefits.
- PADS® A.M. (And More!) is a Daytime Drop–In Center that offers daytime refuge and an opportunity for self–improvement and development to over 100 PADS guests a day, five days a week.
- The Transitional Living Community (TLC) provides temporary on–site housing and opportunities for up to 52 homeless persons of which almost always 50% are children.
- LIGHT–House Permanent Supporting Housing currently has 40 individuals placed in apartments throughout the City of Aurora.