West Suburban Pads Inc

Rating: 5 stars   21 reviews

Issues: Homeless & Housing, Human Services

Location: P.O. Box 797 Oak Park IL 60303 USA

Mission: West Suburban PADS exists to serve individuals and families who are homeless - or at risk of homelessness- with dignity and respect, through shelter, housing and supportive services.
Target demographics: All West Suburban PADS clients are extremely low-income (71% have no income and the remainder have income below the poverty line) and homeless within the 20 communities on the near-west side of Cook County, IL.
Direct beneficiaries per year: 800 individuals and families who are homeless or face imminent risk of homelessness.
Programs: Homeless Prevention provides one-time rental, mortgage and/or utility assistance to  individuals and families who are at imminent risk of eviction or foreclosure, and a security deposit and/or first month's rent for individuals and families leaving homelessness. Bi-lingual Spanish-speaking staff field inquiries for persons seeking shelter, housing and homeless prevention services. Callers are assessed to determine eligibility for local services.
2010 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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EIN 36-3876660
708.338.1724
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

There are many ways to help with Pads. I've served food, helped with getting beds ready and I've cleaned up areas after people leave. However, the most rewarding for me is in preparing food. Once a month I help make a meal to serve 60 plus people. We've been making Shepard's Pie for over ten years. It's become a favorite, a classic with the people we serve. There have been many times, when I've given to a homeless person, or bought a Streetwise from them, and mentioned how I help with Pads and what I cook, they remember the Shepard's Pie and thank me. That's the reward I treasure, directly from the people we serve.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

many ways. I find it personally rewarding to serve and be helpful. My wife also started out with Pads serving the meal I helped cook. Now, she serves as a board member for Pads.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

get out to the shelters more and experience what is happening first hand. Listen to the servers and see how their jobs can be better organized or supported.

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Rating: 5 stars  

West Suburban PADS is one of those organizations that can easily be taken for granted. The services they provide are a vital part of the community and without them, the homeless citizens of the western suburbs would continue to struggle. I have volunteered at their annual holiday party and seeing the joy of the families is what brings me back each year. Those who receive PADS' services are always grateful and the staff is always respectful to the clients needs. PADS offers such a wonderful service to the community and they do not receive the recognition they rightly deserve. I hope that this review becomes one of the first steps toward that recognition.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the way they make the community a better place.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

make sure they receive the proper recognition for the services they provide.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I have had the honor of serving on the Board of Directors for West Suburban PADS over the past 5 1/2 years. Board members, staff, and volunteers have a shared passion that fuels change on a daily basis as those in need are sheltered, housed, and receive job training. PADS' volunteer base is broad and busy; its' Board is strong and invested; and, PADS' staff are skilled professionals with a sense of mission.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the many testimonials that have been shared over my years associated with PADS.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Find a way to clone it and spread it around the country!

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Rating: 5 stars  

I have voltuneered a West Suburban PADS shelter one night per month for the past 6 years, and it has been a very positive experience. for me. The PADS's homeless shelter which I have volunteer at provides emergency shelter and food to up to 25 men, women and families. Guests at the shetler are given a very high level of respect and courtsey. PADS has a caseworker at the shetler, to work with the guests to help them work toward getting permanent shelter. Volutneering at the shelter has been a very rewarding experience. The guests are extremely gratefull for the volutneer work which you perform for them. The fellow volutneers are wonderfull as well, and are very supportive and friendly. Moreover, West Suburban PADS is extremely appretiative and supportive of their volunteers

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Volunteering my time over the past 6 years in one of PAD's overnight homeless shelters.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

None. It is a very well run organization.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?

none.

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

The volutneer experience has had a strong effect on me. In continually reminds me of the important of sharing what I have with fellow people in need, and how rewarding it is to do so. I have also gained some great new friends through volutneering at PADS.

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

Excellent.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

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Rating: 5 stars  

PADS does great work for the homeless those at risk of becoming homeless in west suburban cook county. My family and I volunteer in one of their shelters once a month. PADS initially focused on providing shelter to the homeless, but they have really expanded their services to meet people where they are at- from job training, to supportive permanent housing, counseling as well as other housing options. Their staff is amazing. They provide a great service to people who are down on their luck and to the community as a whole. I am glad to be connected to PADS.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have volunteered in their shelter and have advocated for housing

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

hire more staff so they can do all they need to do- provide necessary training for the staff so they do an even better job

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

West Suburban PADS is the only agency in the near west cook county suburbs that is dedicated exclusively to ending homelessness. People believe that homelessness is a "big city issue" and that is just not the case. People are homeless in suburbs, cities, small towns and rural areas.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Seeing people move from the emergency shelter into housing.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

nothing

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Rating: 5 stars  

My children and I recently started to volunteer our time at PADS, a non-for-profit homeless shelter. We had such a wonderful & positive experience with PADS that we are truly excited about this program. The PADS staff was well organized, very knowledgeable, and just a pleasure to work with. At every shelter there is a social services staff on site who encourages clients to visit the PADS Support Center where they can access shower and laundry services, get basic medical and mental health case management, and work on finding a job if they are not already employed. While my volunteer experience has been hands-on in the overnight shelter, I know that PADS’ main focus is to get people out of the shelters and into housing. They have three supportive housing programs that housed close to 100 people last year. Their homelessness prevention program kept 130 adults and children from becoming homeless. PADS has over 1,000 volunteers who help take care of those who are experiencing homelessness. I am proud to be one of them and proud to be apart of this wonderful organization.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

volunteering.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

not do a thing differently.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I have been a volunteer with my family at PADS for the past few years. We spend one night a month cooking, serving and cleaning up a dinner for the 50 or so guests that spend the night in one of their emergency shelters. This has been a fantastic family activity that has helped our three children (8, 11 and 13) understand the realities of homelessness in a safe environment. Through this program, my family has been able to see people move up and out of homelessness and feel like we have played a small part in their success.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

seeing how much they do for their clients

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

increase the communication between staff and volunteers.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I've been a PADS volunteer for 6+ years and have seen the organization grow stronger and better over that time. The staff truly cares about each and every client/guest that attends the overnight shelter and/or comes to the support center. Their goal is to eventually help each person find their way to sustain themselves and end their homelessness. The volunteers are equally as committed to helping. I feel truly blessed to have become affiliated with PADS and to be able to work in the overnight shelter getting to know guests and other volunteers along with staff.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the way they so lovingly care for guests and help them get back on their feet.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

provide the staff with more volunteer help to ease their work load.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I was a previous client of PADS when I was homeless. Everyone from PADS who I dealt with was very professional and treated me with respect at a time when I was feeling very helpless and hopeless. .I was explained the services available and the staff took the time to help me during this difficult time. I also found the staff and volunteers that I encountered while in the shelter very professional and friendly. Made my time in the shelter very bearable. I owe a deep bit of gratitude and thank to PADS and everyone associated with them. I have now been in my apartment and living independently, going on 5 years now. Now I volunteer some of my time to PADs and have for a few years now in various ways. I help at the shelter, I haved helped at the support center, I have been asked to speak at various functions, and do whatever I can to support this great organization.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Through my association with PADS, I went from homeless to be housed. Also, through my association with PADS by volunteering my time, I have seen others coem through the doors of PADS and get housed and off the streets.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I can't think of anything at this time

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