For almost two decades, Mainstreet member Dale Taylor has spent nearly every Monday night managing a men’s homeless shelter, hosted by a faith community, and run by South Suburban PADS (SSPADS). At the shelter, his duties include everything from serving meals to cleaning bathrooms, and he chooses to work the overnight shift from 6 p.m. on Mondays to 7 a.m. on Tuesdays.
Beyond Monday nights at the shelter, Dale continues to support SSPADS throughout each week. He serves as a board member and has raised more than $300,000 for the organization over the years.
This year, the National Organization of REALTORS® (NAR) named Dale as one of five Good Neighbor Award winners. And, in a surprise, each of this year’s $10,000 grants were doubled. That’s another $20,000 SSPADS can put toward critical services.
South Suburban PADS: Helping People Access and Keep Housing in Chicago’s Southland
SSPADS provides services from emergency overnight shelter and free meals, to transitional and permanent support. In almost three decades of operation, the organization has served more than 18,000 people and provided more than one million meals.
SSPADS case managers and staff work diligently to ensure clients have access to affordable housing, medical and mental health services, employment services, and life skills training, with a goal of preventing and ending homelessness in the communities it serves. A full list of programs is available on their website.
Mainstreet has named SSPADS one of the six nonprofits we are partnering with, and we look forward to supporting a wide variety of these programs in the coming years.
What You Can Do
There is always great need for South Suburban PADS’ services, and the organization can always use more support. Even if you can’t make a commitment as large as Dale’s, your help will still make an impact. We asked Dale how other Mainstreet members could be of service and he shared the following ideas:
Volunteer for a shelter shift. Dale recommends that volunteers start with one shift per month. Each shift lasts between two and a half and four and a half hours. Dale volunteers at the men’s shelter at Faith Lutheran Church in Homewood, but there are 14 shelters in the area, all of which need assistance.
Volunteer as a Meal Team. This is a great team building activity, through which an office or company will choose an evening to buy or make a meal and serve it at a shelter location for dinner, and help prepare lunch bags for the next day.
Volunteer for a TAG Days team. In this initiative, a group can pick an afternoon or day and collect funds for SSPADS outside a Walt’s or Jewel’s in the South Suburbs.
Donate critically needed goods. PADS is always in need of items including: sheets, socks, gloves, scarves, caps, underwear, toiletries, Febreeze, bus passes, $5 or $10 gift cards for gas or Walmart, backpacks and small luggage.
Contribute financially. Donations are always needed and greatly appreciated.
We know that Mainstreet REALTORS® are deeply committed to giving back to the communities where they live and work. Let Dale’s story inspire you to become a PADS supporter today.
Read more about Dale’s work with South Suburban PADS:
Chicago Agent: Putting the ‘home’ in Homewood
South Suburban PADS is one of six nonprofits that Mainstreet has partnered with to give back to our communities. To read more about all of them, keep an eye on our blog. To see the full list, read our introductory post.