By David Miotto and Marina Naseem
Founded in 1985 by the Lincoln Park Presbyterian Church, Lincoln Park Community Services has been serving the homeless population in Chicago for over three decades. This location, 600 W Fullerton Pkwy in Chicago, has seen the homeless population dwindle over the last few years.
Despite the many challenges different shelters may endure, many residents volunteer year after year in support of Lincoln Park Community Services. Volunteer coordinator, Emma Jones of LPCS states, “Our mission is that we bring communities together to empower people to make sustainable life changes, we’re a community organization that wants to make our guests feel like they are part of the Lincoln Park community”.
“We have around 2,000 annual volunteers, and the majority of those people live in Lincoln Park, we want them to feel like they are part of the community, doing more than just providing funds and signing checks, we want them to be actively engaged at least once a year” Jones said. “We want them to get to know the clients that we serve on a deeper level, get to know their unique stories, eat dinner with our guests, work on resumes, just be very community based in all aspects.”
Community outreach and engagement has helped this shelter continue its mission more than 30 years. Besides providing the shelter with generous donations and funding, community input goes beyond that. Without the help of all these volunteers, the homeless population would not get the same benefits and support they need.
Lincoln Park Community Services hopes that with its expansion within the next few months to a new location in Old Town at 1521 N. Sedgwick St., it can be of even greater help to those in need.