Friday, July 30, 2010

LPCS Open House a Tasty Success!

Last Saturday, July 24th, LPCS held an Open House Ice Cream Social to celebrate 25 years in the neighborhood.  Volunteers, community members, and passersby enjoyed ice cream sundaes with sprinkles and cherries on top, creative facepainting, and relaxing chair massages, courtesy of Lincoln Park Massage Spa.  In addition to the tasty and relaxing fun, visitors to the Open House had the opportunity to take a tour of LPCS' recently rennovated facility and learn more about the history of our time in Lincoln Park. 

LPCS would like to offer a huge thank you to the event committee: Rebecca Devlin, Trina Portillo, Nada Riley, and Lucy Shair.  We would also like to extend a huge thank you to Lincoln Park Massage Spa ( for donating their Hired Hands On-site Massage therapist.  And lastly, we would like to thank the volunteers who helped give tours, scoop ice cream, and paint faces!  Thanks to everyone for making the Open House a fun and successful event!

For information on other anniversary events, please visit:

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Happy Retirement Rev. Henry!

On behalf of the entire Lincoln Park Community Shelter - every volunteer, board member, staff member, and guest over the past 25 years, we wish Rev. Tom Henry much happiness in his retirement.

Rev. Henry has served at St. Pauls United Church of Christ in Lincoln Park for the past 36 years, 28 of them as senior pastor. He and his wife, Colleen, have shown amazing support for our every endeavor; from the formation of the shelter in 1984, through every growing pain and triumph, his leadership and the support of the entire St. Pauls community has been inspiring. St. Pauls members contribute by volunteering, donating, and serving on our Board of Directors, supporting every aspect of LPCS’ mission and vision. For the first 22 years of the shelter’s history, St. Pauls was a primary site for the evening dinner and overnight accommodations for guests. Our Saturday morning Community Engagement Program and One on One Program continue to take place there; both programs are integral parts of our effort to serve homeless men and women throughout their journey – from the streets to a permanent home. Every one of the hundreds of men and women who have put homelessness behind them for good has the Henrys to thank.

On Sunday, June 27, 2010, Rev. Henry preached his final sermon at St. Pauls.  Afterward, Tom and Colleen celebrated with the rest of the St. Pauls family at a special gala tribute to their nearly four decades of commitment to this community, and LPCS was proud to be counted among the many well-wishers. Best wishes, Tom and Colleen, for a restful and happy retirement!
Rev. Henry was featured on ABC7 news a few weeks back.  Click here to view the story.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

FREE Ice Cream and MORE at LPCS Open House!

Come get to know LPCS!  Don't miss the upcoming Open House Ice Cream Social on July 24th, from 2-4pm celebrating LPCS' 25th AnniversaryLearn how LPCS has been building hope and empowering homeless men and women in your community for the last 25 years.  Stop by, take a tour, enjoy family entertainment, and best of all FREE ice cream, FREE chair massages, and FREE face painting!  Maybe you have someone you've been meaning to introduce to LPCS, maybe you haven't seen our renovated facilities, maybe you just want to stop by.  In any case, grab your friends and family and stop by this FREE family-friendly event for some delicious FREE ice cream and a tour of LPCS. 

For more information on these and other upcoming events, please visit:  

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Action Assembly 2010

On Tuesday, June 22, 700 residents of the Lakeview, Lincoln Park, and North Center neighborhoods gathered at Temple Sholom  for the Lakeview Action Coalition’s annual Action Assembly.  There, leaders met onstage with elected-officials to both celebrate the accomplishments of the Lakeview Action Coalition (LAC), as well as to address the critical issues and needs facing community residents. The meeting discussed affordable housing, access to healthcare, homeless youth & police accountability, environmental justice, and the state budget crisis.

The Lincoln Park Community Shelter is an active member of Lakeview Action Coalition.  Program Director Betsy Carlson is involved in the Affordable Housing Task Force, working to preserve and improve existing housing stock (such as the Diplomat Hotel and various Section 8 buildings in the area) as well as ensure that affordable options are included in new housing developments (such as the redevelopment of the Children’s Memorial Hospital site).  Case Manager Murray Manus is active in the Healthcare Task Force, working to improve access to affordable health care in our community. Executive Director Erin Ryan is also involved in the affordable housing work, in addition to service as vice president of LAC’s Board of Directors.  LPCS sees a direct connection between our work with homeless individuals and our advocacy within the broader community for increased access to resources.

At the recent Action Assembly, community leaders received important commitments from the local officials to ameliorate the issues highlighted at the event.  For more information about the event and LAC, click here:

Friday, July 2, 2010

Bringing a Community Together

About a year ago, I was approached by a young man, Alek, who wanted to do his Eagle Scout project with the Lincoln Park Community Shelter.  For those of you who aren't familiar with scouting, an Eagle Scout Leadership Service Project is the opportunity for a Scout to demonstrate leadership of others while performing a project for the benefit of his community. This is the culmination of the Eagle Scout candidate's leadership training and requires a significant effort. The project must benefit a community organization, but it be solely a fund-raising project. After talking a little bit with Alek, we came up with the idea of creating "move-out kits" for people graduating from our program.  Many of our guests only have their clothes and a few personal possessions when they leave LPCS.  The idea was that these kits would include basic items that everyone needs when first moving into an apartment such as a laundry basket, dish towels, dust pans, etc.  Alek set out to organize the collection of new and gently used household items to create these kits.  He created fliers, posted them around the neighborhood, and organized a collection date.  A few months ago, Alek, his family, and some friends brought in everything that had been collected.  In addition to assembling 20+ "Graduate move-out kits," Alek had collected a large amount of other household goods for LPCS graduates to access. There was so much stuff that the LPCS dining room was full!  Once again, the staff of LPCS were moved by how generous this community is to us and our guests. 

Alek has earned over 50 merit badges including Wilderness Survival, Fire Safety, and First Aid.  In addition to these merits, Alek has also held a number of leadership positions within his Troop.  Alek now joins the ranks of Neil Armstrong, Gerald Ford and other prominent individuals who have achieved this prestigious status as young men.  LPCS would like to congratulate Alek on his achievement of scouting's highest rank, Eagle Scout.