SEEDS Case Management
Sowing Empowerment, Embracing Dignity and Self–Sufficiency
Individuals seeking assistance are evaluated to determine which housing program is most appropriate for them. Following comprehensive intake sessions and review, an action plan is designed for getting that individual out of homelessness.
This team of specially trained Hesed House staff works one–on–one with homeless individuals to:
- Identify the barriers preventing them from regaining housing;
- Develop a plan to overcome those barriers;
- Execute the plan to leave Hesed House
PADS® Emergency Shelter
Public Action To Deliver Shelter
The PADS® Overnight Emergency Shelter is the second largest shelter in the State of Illinois. Each night, an average of 175 men, women and children line up outside the doors of Hesed House seeking a place to sleep, shower, do laundry, eat a meal, find medical and legal assistance and other life–sustaining services.
The PADS® program at Hesed House serves as a model for other similar agencies in the Western Suburbs and across the nation. The PADS® Overnight Emergency Shelter operates from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., every night of the year. Over 70 faith–based communities with teams of volunteers provide food and serve meals, and oversee the shelter dining room, store, laundry facilities, lockers and four sleeping areas. Volunteers also make sack lunches and breakfasts to serve guests as they depart for work or other destinations in the morning.
The men’s sleeping area accommodates 88 sleeping mats. After 9:30 pm, additional mats are placed in our double–duty dining room. Several other smaller sleeping areas provide mats and volunteer oversight for single women.
While in the PADS® shelter, guests may sign up for Case Management services, assistance in finding housing, identification, employment training, medical and legal assistance as well as obtaining veterans’ benefits.
PADS® Overnight Emergency Shelter does not turn anyone away (other than people listed as sex offenders involved with children) for a night. Longer stays are generally limited to those with ties to our service area.
Our basic rules are simple: while a guest is in PADS, he/she may not possess drugs, alcohol or weapons. Violence, threats and profanity are not tolerated.
PADS® A.M. (…And More)
Sister program to the overnight PADS® emergency shelter, the daytime drop–in center provides shelter, food and access to critical ancillary services for self–sufficiency five days a week. 500 men, women and children are served through this program weekly.
Carpenter’s Homeless Prevention Program
This program is focused on preventing a person from becoming homeless, which costs less financially and emotionally than helping people to get re–housed. The threats to becoming homeless are identified, and a plan is developed to prevent eviction.
PADS® Family Shelter
PADS® Family Shelter meets the 24/7/365 emergency needs of our area’s homeless families. The shelter offers meals, shelter, sleeping accommodations, showers and laundry facilities to families in need. In addition, through our case managers, families have access to general and children’s counseling, substance abuse counseling, medical services, legal services and job coaching. The Family Shelter also emphasizes programs that teach self-esteem to children.
The Harbor Permanent Supportive Housing
The Harbor provides permanent supportive housing for up to sixteen chronically homeless individuals with a disabling condition (i.e. substance abuse, mental illness, physical disabilities, etc.) This project provides housing for our community’s most vulnerable population. The Harbor targets those that are the greatest utilizers of community resources, including police and ambulance services, as well as those who are frequent hospital emergency room patients – often for non-emergency reasons.
Each individual has their own dorm-room style housing unit with 24/7 on-site staff to assist with life skills (cooking, etc.) as well as access to all of the services in our Comprehensive Homeless Resource Center (e.g. mental health counseling, primary health/medical care, substance abuse counseling, etc.) There is a shared kitchen, laundry room and bathrooms for the residents along with a computer lab and community room.
Special thanks to the FUSE initiative, a collaboration between City of Aurora, Aurora Fire Department, Aurora Police Department, Presence Mercy Medical Center, Rush Copley Medical Center, Hesed House, Breaking Free and Association for Individual Development. The explicit mission of the FUSE Initiative is to develop innovative solutions for the chronically homeless individuals who frequently use public services like ambulances and emergency rooms.
The Harbor is funded in part by a Federal grant through HUD which requires that we house only those single adults throughout Kane County who have the “highest” vulnerability score as assessed on the “Vulnerability Index & Service Prioritization Decision Assistance Tool” (or VI-SPDAT), as well as the longest period of time homeless. This comprehensive assessment is completed after the individual has become homeless. All chronically homeless individuals across Kane County are then ranked and placed on one coordinated county list based on their level of vulnerability and need. Currently there are over 100 individuals on this list.
LIGHT–House Permanent Supportive Housing
Despite the comprehensive services available through Hesed House, there is a segment of its served population that will never be able to live independently without continuing assistance at a variety of levels. Founded through private donations and matching government funds, LIGHT–House (Living Independently Gaining Hope Through Housing) offers long–term permanent housing to individuals and families at multiple locations within the community.
Employment Training & Education
Education and employment skills are the path to getting out of Hesed House and remaining in stable housing. On–site services are offered to facilitate individuals improving their skills to obtain employment (resume writing, interview techniques, effective communication, etc.).
Most homeless individuals are uninsured or underinsured. A full-time on–site medical clinic staffed with medical professionals through Aunt Martha’s helps individuals and families to regain health and well–being.
Substance Abuse Counseling
Breaking Free has a full–time substance abuse counselor on-site.
Mental Health Counseling
The Association for Individual Development has a full–time counselor on site at Hesed House, and Samaritan Interfaith also provides counseling.
Hope Legal Clinic, Prairie State Legal Services and NIU Health Advocacy Law Clinic
A team of attorneys volunteers two nights a month to meet with SEEDS Case managers to address legal issues facing the poor and homeless at Hesed House, such as reinstatement of a driver’s license, divorce, housing discrimination, tax matters, access to healthcare, education for homeless children and child visitation rights.
LEAP Program: Lorentzen Education and Advocacy
Hesed House’s philosophy is to meet today’s needs of the underprivileged and underserved and to work toward systemic solutions that prevent future problems from occurring.
In 1995, Hesed House led the nation in the movement to petition its legislative leaders to make it mandatory for schools to educate homeless children and provide bus transportation to and from their schools. Now national law, Hesed House is proud to note that it all began here.
Click here for the Kane County HIMS form.