Tag: Housing Forward

Maywood Nonprofit: Homeless Shelters Filled Up As Some Left Out In The Cold

Monday, January 15, 2018 || By Tom Holmes/Forest Park Review || @maywoodnews 

Featured image: A resource card produced by Housing Forward that workers with the nonprofit often hand out to people experiencing homelessness. | Alexa Rogals 

Last Thursday, Lynda Schueler, the executive director of the Maywood-based nonprofit Housing Forward, issued what amounted to an emergency all-points bulletin by email to significant stakeholders in Housing Forward’s PADS shelter program with an urgent appeal for reinforcements in the fight against homelessness.

Continue reading “Maywood Nonprofit: Homeless Shelters Filled Up As Some Left Out In The Cold”

Down, But Not Out, In The Suburbs

Wednesday, December 13, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews 

Featured image: Michael Johnson, a person experiencing homelessness in the west suburbs, speaks about his struggles in Oak Park on Dec. 1. | Alexa Rogals 

On a Sunday earlier this month, Michael Johnson, 47, and his fiancé, Cynthia Saack, 45, trekked over to one of the numerous Oak Park churches that, on any given night, serve as temporary shelters affiliated with the Maywood-based nonprofit Housing Forward.

Continue reading “Down, But Not Out, In The Suburbs”

Early Morning Fire Breaks Out at Offices of Maywood Nonprofit on Sept. 9

Saturday, September 9, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews

Feature image: The Maywood headquarters of Housing Forward. | Google Earth

The nonprofit Housing Forward, which helps individuals and families experiencing housing-related crises transition to stable living conditions, is in a transition of its own after a fire broke out in the attic of its headquarters at 1851 S. 9th Ave. in Maywood.

According to Maywood Fire Chief Craig Bronaugh, the fire department got notification of the blaze at around 2:54 a.m. on Saturday. The fire, he said, was primarily contained in the attic.

Continue reading “Early Morning Fire Breaks Out at Offices of Maywood Nonprofit on Sept. 9”

Maywood Residents React to Affordable Housing Proposal

Friday, September 1, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews

The last time Perry Vietti, the president of Interfaith Housing Development Corporation, was in Maywood pitching a plan to build affordable housing units in the village, he confronted a wave of criticism from residents who thought that the proposal was bad for the village’s quality of life.

Continue reading “Maywood Residents React to Affordable Housing Proposal”

Housing Forward’s Prevail Program Moves Offices | Broadview Company Expands


6632 W. Roosevelt Rd

The new offices for Housing Forward’s Prevail program and a Walk-In Center at 6632 W. Roosevelt Rd. in Oak Park | LoopNet

Tuesday, June 27, 2017 || By Community Editor || @maywoodnews || Updated: 7/14/17

Housing Forward, a social service agency headquartered in Maywood, has announced that Prevail — a program designed to provide support services and specialized employment resources for families in the western suburbs that “are experiencing an emergency financial crisis” — will move from its current location at First United Church of Oak Park to new offices at 6634 W. Roosevelt Rd. in Oak Park. The move will take place on July 5.

“Founded by area congregations 12 years ago, the Prevail Programs of Housing Forward (formerly the Walk-In Ministry) have been operating out of First United Church of Oak Park since the beginning,” according to a statement released by Housing Forward on June 27.

“We are endlessly grateful for their support in allowing us to operate rent-free for all those years”, stated Lynda Schueler, Housing Forward’s executive director.

According to the statement, the organization’s Prevail programs and services “have helped thousands of households with emergency financial assistance, short-term stability services and employment readiness programs to address their immediate financial and housing crisis and find jobs.

“Last year alone, that office was visited by 1,032 people representing $84,406 in financial support and more than 170 individuals accessing employment services.”

In addition to the Prevail program, the new Roosevelt Rd. location will also house a Walk-In Center, staffed by Housing Forward and designed to service west suburban clients.

The expansion comes after Housing Forward was chosen to lead a nine-agency partnership called Coordinated Entry, a new Cook County crisis system designed to make it easier for homeless people, or those at-risk of becoming homeless, to get the emergency services they need.

An open house will be held for the new offices, located on the second-floor of 6634 W. Roosevelt Rd., sometime in September. Housing Forward’s headquarters and daytime support center wills till operated out of 1851 S. 9th Ave. in Maywood.

For more information, visit www.housingforward.org.

Broadview company expands 

Broadview printer.jpg

A facility located at 2105 W. 21st St. in Broadview, where Printing Arts has leased nearly 47,000 square feet of additional space. | Submitted photo

Printing Arts, a printing production and materials storage company based in Broadview, recently signed an agreement to lease nearly 47,000 square feet at 2105 W. 21st St., a facility that’s nearly 121,000 square feet.

“The lease represents an expansion for Printing Arts, which currently occupies an adjacent building,” according to statement released by Darwin Realty, the real estate brokerage and property development firm that represented the building’s owner, Welbic III Broadview 21 LLC, while working closely with Printing Arts during the transaction.

“We are pleased to able to accommodate the growing space needs of this valued tenant,” stated Mandy Lewandowski, a Darwin Realty associate. VFP

Advertising from a valued partner 

Community Bank AD_April 20 2017


State Budget Impasse Leaves Homeless Out In The Cold


Wednesday, February 17, 2016 || Originally Published: Forest Park Review || 2/16/16 || By Tom Holmes

Housing Forward Executive Director Lynda Schueler said the failure of Gov. Bruce Rauner and the legislature to pass a budget for the state of Illinois has already dried up funding for two staff positions, and if money continues to be withheld, a decision on more cuts will come in June.

Housing Forward, the Maywood-based organization formerly West Suburban PADS, has been contracted by the state to provide services in two areas: the agency’s emergency shelter and supportive housing for the homeless.

The emergency shelter has not received $38,000, which is 22 percent of its budget. And the supportive housing program, already cut from a fiscal year 2015 funding level of $150,000, has gone without the $74,000 the state is contracted to give for fiscal year 2016.

“For us that means we have to spend some of our other funding, like drawing from our reserves, and last fall we did not fill two vacant positions, one in housing and the other in homeless prevention, which means that the caseloads of everyone still working here has been increased,” Schueler said.

If the state budget impasse continues, she said, in April Housing Forward may need to dip into its line of credit for a short-term fix and if the funding drought continues into June, “Our board of directors may have to make some critical decisions.”

In addition to the money not flowing directly into Housing Forward from the state, the dried up revenue streams to other agencies has also significantly affected Housing Forward’s ability to assist the homeless. For example, diminished funding to mental health providers has limited the ability of her staff to provide services. It produces a domino effect.

“Some of our clients can’t get to see their psychiatrist to get their meds because of a waiting list or because new patients are not being accepted,” she noted. “When you don’t get your medication, you become sicker. In the case of a mental health crisis, you’re going to spiral.”

Her staff does not have stats to verify their observations, but anecdotally they are seeing an increase of people suffering from mental illness.

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart has become, in effect, the largest provider of housing for the mentally ill in the county, she said. Because they are not receiving needed support, people with mental illness who spiral downward often get in trouble with the law, and the Cook County Jail becomes their “shelter.”

When people call the homeless prevention hotline, she said, because they’ve received a five-day eviction notice, their unemployment payments haven’t kicked in yet or they can’t work because of an injury, they have to be told that no state dollars are available to help them through their crisis, and some of those families wind up in the emergency shelter.

So far in the 2015-16 shelter season, the number of families with children using the emergency is already double the number housed during the entire 2014-2015 season. The problem, Schueler said, is that because the PADS shelter program has limited capacity each night and because the organization guarantees shelter for families, some of those who are alone are turned away.

When asked how the morale of her staff is holding up during this time, Schueler replied, “Everybody’s been great. Everybody’s been pitching in.”

That said, she acknowledged that not getting the promised dollars has had an effect. Social workers, she noted, don’t make a high salary. Their main compensation is the satisfaction received from seeing the lives of their clients improving.

Not only has that satisfaction been diminished, Schueler said, but clients get frustrated when they can’t get what they need and sometimes take it out on the very staff people who are frustrated by their inability to deliver.

The Housing Forward ship is nowhere near sinking, however. Schueler said that diminished funding accounts for $112,000 or less than 5 percent of their $4.3 million budget. The situation between now and June may make matters worse, but for now Housing Forward is moving ahead.

Schueler said one thing readers can do is to pressure representatives in Springfield to support House Bill 4955, introduced by Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch on Feb. 5, which, according to an information sheet distributed by Housing Action Illinois, “includes full restoration to fiscal year 2015 levels for affordable housing and homeless/mental health supportive housing.” VFP

West Suburban PADS Now Called Housing Forward as Part of Rebranding Efforts

imageWednesday, May 6, 2015 || Originally Published: Wednesday Journal || 5/1/15 || By Tom Holmes

A gathering of major donors at the Pleasant Home on Wednesday learned that Housing Forward is the new name of the agency which for over 23 years has been called West Suburban PADS.

Lynda Schueler, executive director of the agency, said at the unveiling of the new brand that it came as the culmination of an almost year long process aimed at renaming the nonprofit in a way that better fits what the agency has actually grown to do.

When PADS was created by a coalition of religious congregations and community activists in 1992, its sole mission was to provide for a meal and a night’s shelter for homeless people. For the first decade or so the acronym PADS fit the agency’s mission. At present, however, 90 percent of the organization’s budget is spent on getting people out of the emergency shelters and into their own housing, making the name PADS out of date and inadequate as a brand.

Recognizing that reality, last summer Schueler and her board of directors convened three focus groups composed of 30 founders, volunteers, donors, community leaders and local clergy to discuss whether the PADS brand was still communicating the agency’s mission. “Community has always been the foundation of this organization,” said board member Chris Mickens, “so it’s only natural that the input of community members played an important role in the rebranding process.”

“The consensus which came out of those conversations,” said Schueler, “was that we’ve outgrown our name.”

“We wanted to reflect in a new name the impact we’re having on the homeless population beyond a pad on the floor of a church or synagogue. It’s not to diminish the importance of that part of our programming, which we will still refer to as PADS. What the new name reflects is that the emergency overnight shelter is one program among many.”

“Following the focus groups,” Schueler said, “we brought the process back to our rebranding committee composed of three board members and three staff people, but the six of us couldn’t agree on a name, so we did some market research including ‘mall intercepts,’ — random interviews at the Oak Brook Mall — and sending out a survey to over 200 people.”

The committee then hired a consulting firm called Bring LLC, which according to its website is “an experienced group of award-winning communications consulting, website and branding designers and content developers. . .whose clients include The Allstate Corporation,

The Boeing Company and Chicago Public Schools.”

Bring brainstormed 100 possible names, and according to Schueler, Housing Forward was chosen by the committee, because “we wanted a name that is unique to the work we do. We also felt that we wanted a name that would distinguish ourselves from the other PADS programs. We are something of an ‘industry leader’ in suburban Cook County.”

Mickens added, “As the only organization in west Cook County with a full-scale integrated solution to homelessness, it became imperative that the agency take the necessary steps to establish a brand that would reflect our impact and individuality.”

Having settled on the new name, the committee went back to Bring to create a logo. Bring tacked dozens of possible designs using “Housing Forward” to a wall in their office. According to an email from the Richter Group which teamed up with Bring to create the design, the general characteristics of a strong logotype are:

  • Simple
  • Memorable and describable
  • Timeless not trendy
  • Versatile, reproducible in all sizes and media
  • Appropriate to the organization

Schueler said that housing FORW>RD stuck out from the rest of the pack. “It’s very clean, and we were all drawn to the ‘greater than’ symbol, because our programming is so much more than the logo we’ve used in the past. The orange color of the greater than symbol is strong and stands out. We want it to become like our Nike swoosh. FORWARD is all in caps, because that’s the direction of the agency as well as the clients.”

The line “formerly West Suburban PADS” is temporary and will eventually be replaced with “ending homelessness” in an orange font.

Along with a new name and logo, the rebranding process also gave the agency a new mission statement. “New name. New logo. Same mission: transitioning people from housing crisis to housing stability.”

“Shelter alone does not solve homelessness,” declares a sheet of talking points used to explain the rationale for the rebranding. “What’s required is a full continuum of programming that addresses the varied and complex reasons for a person’s housing crisis.” To illustrate that statement the agency has created a pie chart graphic with the six pieces of the programming pie called PADS shelter, employment, housing, prevention, support and outreach. VFP

Above photo by Patch.