Shelters swell during the deep freeze


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By Ashley Lisenby

Digital Editor

West Suburban PADS provided shelter for 38 people at Euclid Avenue United Methodist Church Sunday night, a space that normally accommodates 42 people.

On a night where temperatures dropped well below zero, Executive Director Lynda Schueler said the organization did not turn anyone away. If the organization had received more people than the space could accommodate, however, Schueler said they had a back-up plan.

The alternative? Resurrection Lutheran Church, which is normally the shelter location every Tuesday on West Suburban PADS' rotating schedule. During the month of January the church has agreed to offer space every Sunday as a back-up shelter.

In the past West Suburban PADS has sent people to the city, said Schueler, but the change over from the CTA pass to Ventra card has made the option of sending people into Chicago via public transportation problematic.

Now the organization partners with Beds Plus Care, Inc. in La Grange, as a back-up location on weekdays. West Suburban PADS pays for the cost of a cab ride to the location.

Grace Episcopal Church severed as a warming center on Monday until 6 p.m. and reopened Tuesday at 9 a.m. First United Church, the organization's normal Monday shelter location, opened its doors at 6 p.m. and closed at 9 a.m. Tuesday morning.

When it comes to serving those in need of housing, donations are in place so the cost of providing services is nominal. It's more about the logistics, said Schueler.

"Our mission is to serve people who don't have a residence and we're being as responsive as possible."

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