Before joining the Lincoln Park Community Shelter, I studied English and History at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. I later attended DePaul University, where I received a Masters Degree in English. Upon completing my Masters Degree, I began work as the Director of Communications for The Shakespeare Project of Chicago, a non-profit theatre that brings the words of William Shakespeare to life with free performances and dramatic readings throughout the city. At the same time, I was teaching English Composition at Harper College and Morton College.
My relationship with the Lincoln Park Community Shelter unofficially began in January, 2012, when I attended an orientation to become a volunteer. I was so eager to be a part of this incredible organization that I checked nearly every volunteer opportunity box. I began by cooking dinners at the Shelter with a group of friends, later I contributed by bringing in sack lunches. The very dedicated Volunteer Coordinator extraordinaire, Elli Krandall, suggested that I use my editing experiences to help guests with their cover letters. I took her recommendation and began coming to the Shelter every other Tuesday to help guests write and edit their cover letters.
During one of these visits, I only had one guest sign up to meet with me and discuss his cover letter. I asked him what it was about his job experiences that he wanted to express or further convey in his cover letter. His answer: “Why I came to be living here today”. This is when it occurred to me that the LPCS did more than just give a rooftop, job assistance, and food to 35 homeless men and women. The LPCS was giving 35 individuals a chance to tell and change their stories. Each person that stays at the LPCS found themselves without homes for vastly different reasons; however, their goals are the same. I realized, then, that I wanted to have a more active role in changing the stories of these men and women. It is for these reasons that I am thrilled to accept the position as the Community Relations Manager at the Lincoln Park Community Shelter.
--Meghan Freebeck, Community Relations Manager