Volunteering with this wonderfully effective nonprofit is always a fulfilling experience. PADS is truly improving our community, one success story at a time. The constant improvement and expansion of service is inspirational. I love having very specific, tangible ways to make a difference from donating household goods and clothing to flood victims to adopting a family for the holiday season.
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.
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 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
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.
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 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 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 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.