Around 3 a.m. one night, the lives of our client “Anita” and her four-year-old daughter “Felicia” were changed when an unexpected fire destroyed their home. They woke from a deep slumber to find their apartment flooded with water and smoke and the building engulfed in flames. Felicia and Anita were the last two people to be rescued by the fire department; they lost everything except each other. Worse still, Anita does not have family to whom she could turn for support. She is a single mother, working 40-plus hours a week to cover their living expenses.
Twenty-four year old Cody moved to Chicago in the summer of 2020, with the promise of a new job and a better life. But once he arrived, having travelled all the way from California, the stark reality of a city in the midst of a global pandemic became devastatingly apparent. His job opportunity had evaporated, and all at once Cody found himself completely alone and unexpectedly homeless.
Hesed House is a national model for ending homelessness – one person, one family at a time. We are the second-largest homeless shelter in the State of Illinois, and the largest shelter outside of the city of Chicago. The culmination of nearly three decades of strategic evolution.
STEPS (Successful Transitions Effectively Preparing for Self-Sufficiency) is The Night Ministry’s transitional living program, providing up to two years of housing and intensive life skills coaching for young adults ages 18 to 22. For young people experiencing homelessness or housing instability, the program serves as a stepping stone toward independent living. STEPS houses up to eight young adults at a time.