Epworth Shelter, facts and funds.

Cornerstone Community Outreach has again responded to the needs in Chicago, and has started a new, much needed shelter and day time program for homeless, the Epworth Shelter.   As temporary as an overnight shelter can seem, many of the sixty-five men who stay, call Epworth home.  A home where you are safe, warm, have nutritional meals, and in the company of your friends, is what we all need.  These men are no different.   They might be down on their luck, but they may need just a nudge in the right direction to rediscover their independence.  That’s what we do.

You know that CCO has been helping the homeless and needy for over 20 years, and this is nothing new to us.  What is new is how this group of men is being helped.  Before we took over this shelter, their access to supportive service and referrals was limited.
During the day, these men work directly with our staff who provide what is most needed for each individual.  For some it is job referrals.  Some need assistance gaining access to much needed disability or medical benefits.  More than half of the men are over the age of fifty, closer to sixty, and re-joining the workforce can be tough. But now, using the existing staff and networks that CCO has built up, these men can and will have the opportunity to succeed.

As always, money becomes an issue.  The City of Chicago has committed to provide the bulk of the money, ninety-thousand dollars, and CCO needs to raise an additional thirty-thousand.

The worth of this program greatly outweighs the cost, and we are grateful to offer these most needed services.

You can be a part of this success, make a donation to Cornerstone Community Outreach today.   We know financial times are rough, but can you commit $25.00, or $100, or $250, $500, or $1000.00?  How ever much you can, will make a difference.

Sincerly,

Andrew Winter

Elevator Needed

We are still working on the elevator goal here at the Cornerstone Community Outreach. Our homeless population consists mostly of elderly and young families with young children. We have many strollers that need to hand lifted up and down the stair well.

Help us reach our goal

Help us reach our goal

Edgewater Community meet at Epworth Church about the shelter

There was a Community meeting tonight at Epworth Church, for the Edgewater community regarding the shelter at Epworth.  The agenda was to open lines of communication with us, the new provider for the shelter, and the community as a whole.  Twenty or so people attended to discuss issues from the past, and how we as CCO will address and work on solving the issues.  It was very productive in that many people were able to speak their mind, and allow for a good back and forth communication.
We look forward to helping be a part of the needs and solution, with members of that community regarding the homeless, an open doors to relationships.

*Thanks to Doug Fraser for mediating the meeting,  he really has a mind for the common interests, and how to keep open conversations toward balance.

Epworth Shelter/ Edgewater Day of Service

Edgewater Day of Service
Monday, January 19 from 10 AM to 3 PM or 5 to 8 PM
President-Elect Obama has asked the nation to celebrate Monday, January 19th, Martin Luther King Day, with a day of community service. Alderman Mary Ann Smith, Senator Heather Steans and Representative Harry Osterman are honoring this call by sponsoring a day of service to benefit Care for Real, Edgewater’s Food and Clothing Pantry and the homeless shelter at Epworth Church. Volunteers are needed to collect food, clothing, toiletries and cash donations for Care for Real and the almost 2,000 low income Edgewater residents CFR serves each month. This wil l include staffing drop off locations, picking up donations from neighbors and helping put materials together to distribute to local families. Volunteers also are needed beforehand to help publicize the drive. At the homeless shelter, volunteers will clean, paint and help with minor repairs including weatherproofing the facility. If you’d like to volunteer, contact Jen Walling at jennifer.walling@gmail.comor call (773) 769-1717.

CCO will start managing the Epworth Shelter this Friday!

No greater need to give shelter, than in the dead of winter.

Cornerstone Community Outreach was approached by the Inner Voice, coordinator of warming center/shelters in Chicago, at the end of December, about whether CCO was remotely interested in taking over management of a single men’s shelter in the Edgewater area of Chicago. The previous managing organization was not going to be able to. We were.

January 2nd, the pastor from Epworth Church, the home of the shelter, invited us to see the facilities, and asked if we were still interested. We were.

On January 7th, an agreement between the Inner Voice, Alderman Smith of the 48th Ward, the Chicago Dept. of Human Service, Epworth and CCO, was made.

So starting this Friday, CCO will be providing a warm, safe place for sixty-five single men. This shelter was started by Epworth twenty odd years ago, out of the need of the community, and the compassion of its congregation, and we are honored to be able to be apart of that legacy.

If you are interested in more info or being a part of the hands on work, please contact us.

The passenger, your impact, a few years later

Do you ever see someone on the street that you recognize from the past, and without stopping to ask how they are doing, wonder?

My friend was driving to work the other day when the snow was coming down pretty hard.  At a bus stop he saw a guy who worked in the same area as him, and offered him a ride.  The soon-to-be passenger was shocked at the offer, but accepted.  On the way, the passenger asked if my friend was affiliated with, or knew about Cornerstone Shelter, he did of course.

Then passenger told my friend the story of how CCO had helped him a few years back…

He said he was homeless, strung out on drugs, at the bottom.  His past didn’t give him much hope to lean on, and the future seemed rough.

“No one ever wants to be homeless”, he thought, but right then, he was.  The City of Chicago has a help line, 311, and he called it looking for a place to stay.   Into our doors he came, wary of his path, but sure of the need for change.  All of CCO’s help was available to him, searching for job, and a place to live, he surely took part of it.  At CCO, his basic needs of housing, food and clothing were met, and now he could focus on getting back on his feet.

Now a few years later, the passenger says, “…he got right, found a wonderful woman, and has been doing well.  If not for Cornerstone, I don’t know where I’d be.”

Whether you stop to say hi to that person from the  past, know that what we do today for those around us, impacts each others future.

You were a part of this mans change.  You make it possible to change lives.

Coats for the homeless? Covered.

This holiday season brought many amazing gifts, and unique moments to remember.  Children were blessed with many presents.  Temperatures dropped quicker than we were used to.  Winds picked up, well we expected that.  But a mountain of coats, now that was truly amazing.

A local physical therapy and health center did a collection through the early winter at their office, for Cornerstone Community Outreach, (CCO).  The center traditionally pursuing food donations to  each year for benefit a shelter in Chicago, this year they tried something new.  And it was very well received.  From those who passed through their doors, over 120 coats were collected.  The director and his wife then loaded up their vehicle, and delivered them to 4615 North Clifton Avenue.

That Saturday, the coats were handed out at CCO’s Dinner Guest program to anyone who needed one.  With over two hundred people getting meals that day, the coats went fast.

A hot meal and a new coat, everyone felt extra warm that day.
That’s why you, we, all of us, do what we do at CCO.

-AW