For more than 35 years, PADS (Providing Advocacy, Dignity and Shelter) has faithfully been providing immediate, critical services to the neediest among us – homeless families, children, men and women in Lake County. Like a hospital emergency room, they are the first point of contact and the ONLY emergency shelter for the homeless in Lake County. In fact, PADS is often the only hope for someone facing a long night in the harrowing cold or blistering heat.
PADS provides assistance to the homeless throughout all of Lake County. However, the greatest concentration of homeless served is in North Chicago, Waukegan, and Zion. It is a non-restrictive emergency shelter system and help all people that come to us in need regardless of race, gender, age, religion, disability, or sexual orientation. PADS provides critical services that no other social or human services agency in Lake County offers. It is the only program in Lake County that provides emergency shelter in summer, enables families to stay together, takes in single fathers with children, and provides housing for chronically homeless individuals with severe mental illnesses and/or substance abuse issues. PADS vision is to provide a path to stable housing and self-sufficiency for all of Lake County’s homeless. Our greatest hope is to help end homelessness and ensure happy, healthy, and safe lives for generations to come.
St. Mary has been participating in the PADS ministry for nearly 25 years with the backing and support of Fr. Jerry and many volunteers. We show love and respect to 35-40 guests each Wednesday from October thru April. Saint Mary’s site is open on Wednesday evenings (6pm) through Thursday mornings (6am). There are a variety of volunteer opportunities, including meal preparation, setup, serving, morning clean up, laundry, and evening/morning shifts.
PADS During this Pandemic Crisis
You can help! During this time of pandemic our St. Mary PADS Ministry has shifted gears and come up with a way to still support the homeless within our community. The ministry continues its mission by preparing individual meals for our guests on our regular night, Wednesday. Families, groups, or individuals are welcome to help in this time of continued need. There are many ways to help: supplying meals, helping wrap the individual meals, donating. Anyone interested in volunteering is invited to contact the PADS ministry using the contact information below or by calling the parish office. We follow safety protocols as we proceed. Thank you for your support.