Thursday, September 30, 2010

Great Tour!

Last weekend, I had the fun of going on the "Walks of Faith, Lives of Service" living history tour.  I'm a history buff and LPCS supporter, so I was very excited about this tour.  Despite the fact that it was a pretty chilly day, we managed to stay warm and have a great time!  Along the way we learned about the early history of social justice in Lincoln Park, from its early founding in Vincentian values, and the tradition of it that continues to this day.  We ran into a few surprise guests along the way, including Mrs. Carl Uhlich, a member of St. Pauls UCC who told us about when President Lincoln was nominated, and the founding of the Uhlich orphanage.  The tour ended at the Lincoln Park Community Shelter with a tour of the recently renovated facility.  A great time was had by all!

Don't worry, if you weren't able to join us the 25th, there is another set of tours on October 16th.  Tours will begin at 10am and 10:30am.  Tours are free!  For more information about the tours, go here:  To RSVP, send an email to  An RSVP is required 3 days prior.  Have fun!!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Walks of Faith, Lives of Service

Join LPCS next Saturday, September 25th for a unique glimpse at the history of social justice in Lincoln Park.  This walking tour will commemorate two anniversaries--the 350th anniversary of the deaths of St. Vincent DePaul and St. Louise De Marillac (and their legacies in this neighborhood), and the 25th Anniversary of the Lincoln Park Community Shelter--and focus on the intersection of faith and social justice in Lincoln Park.  As such, the tour will begin at DePaul, and will end at with a reception at the Shelter.

Tour Dates:
Saturday, September 25th: tours begin at 1 PM, 1:30 PM, and 2 PM;* reception at Lincoln Park Community Shelter to follow.
Saturday, October 16th: tours begin at 10 AM and 10:30AM.*

Journey back in time to meet costumed characters whose stories will inspire tour-goers to contemplate the intersections of faith, service, and social justice in the Lincoln Park neighborhood. The tours commemorate two anniversaries--the 350th anniversary of the deaths of St. Vincent de Paul and St. Louise de Marillac (whose lives were dedicated to serving those most in need), and the 25th Anniversary of the Lincoln Park Community Shelter (founded by members of four neighborhood churches). A reception at the Lincoln Park Community Shelter will follow tours on September 25th.

Space is limited! Please RSVP to:
*Exact time of your tour will be scheduled when you RSVP. Because space is limited, a RSVP is required three days prior to the event.

Tours last approximately two hours and begin in the courtyard outside of Richardson Library at DePaul University, 2320 N. Kenmore, in St. Vincent's Circle.

There is no cost for this program, but donations to the LPCS are gladly accepted.
This free program was funded by a grant from the Vincentian Endowment Fund of DePaul University.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Unexpected connection

I've had the pleasure of tutoring one of the LPCS guests in english each week; her first language is french. What I thought was just going to be an hour long tutor session became a meeting with a friend that I look forward to each week. Over the last few months, she's come a long way and her english is improving quickly as she uses it more and more. Since she works at the airport, sometimes we discuss questions she has about cultural differences she observes there or casual phrases that are difficult for a new speaker to understand. The cool thing about tutoring someone in english is that we can pretty much talk about anything and she's still practicing. We go over documents she needs to fill out, talk about her family in Cameroon and mine in the burbs of Chicago, as well as the volunteer opportunities she's had at the Alliance Francaise de Chicago. We take walks, laugh and share about some of the challenges we've faced in the past week. I'm grateful for our friendship and look forward to seeing her succeed.
--Shannon, LPCS volunteer

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Some of my top 10 moments at LPCS...

As our 25th year celebrations wind down, we asked several staff, volunteers, and board members to share their top 10 memories--good and bad--of LPCS.  Here is what current LPCS Board Member Peg Wander had to say...
1 /2) The hiring of the first Executive Director was a major milestone in our history because it represented, for me, the shift from being an emergency shelter to being more of a social service agency.  Our first director, Barb Beckman, brought a social work background that played a major role in establishing what is now known as the track program and getting us truly to the point where people could really make "life changes."  Prior to this, we were really just providing a place for people to sleep and get a good meal; noble and needed, but sometimes, as the Board recognized in the mid-90s, actually “facilitating" a lifestyle because it was a safe place to be with no real expectations to make changes to leave homelessness

3) The Board and staff's "vision" for our own facility was around for a very long time.  We explored buying a building in LP and did a financial feasibility study and learned we needed to do more work; we were moving rather slowly in my humble opinion.  Then, the offer to partner with LPPC pushed the vision forward, albeit with some trepidation.  In the end, however, the support we received still amazes me; the "asks" were really pretty easy because generally by the time we came to someone they had already made a decision based on their experiences and own commitment to LPCS; don't think anyone really turned out down flat that we actually had a meeting with-I think that's probably a pretty good track record in the fundraising world.  And, again in my humble opinion, the 24 hour facility has made a major positive difference in how the program operates and the ongoing support we receive.  There is a "buzz" in the place every time I'm there.  And, the fact that we have money in reserves is in part a testament to this whole endeavor.

4)  The ecumenical service was when I knew we had "won" the zoning situation, though it wouldn't officially come for several months.  But, to see St. Clement full of supporters and hear volunteers give testamonials was truly inspiring.  Though we are not a faith based organization, it is from a faith perspective that many of our volunteers/supporters come and that was clearly in evidence that night.
--Peg Wander, long-time LPCS volunteer and Board Member