The Triangle is a spot on Lower Wacker Drive where hundreds of people sleep every night on stacks of cardboard, torn-up mattresses, or piles of newspapers. Just yards away, drug dealers and prostitutes sell their wares – most of the time to the Triangle residents. The Salvation Army Mobile Feeding and Homeless Outreach Unit makes at least one stop a day at this location to hand out food, offer social services, and help individuals leave the street if they choose.
This week, The Salvation Army held the grand opening and a ribbon cutting for The Shield of Hope Center; the nation’s first emergency homeless assessment and rapid-response center addressing the needs of families in crisis. This is a partnership with the City of Chicago, and expands upon the Army’s full range of services to Chicago’s homeless population.
This guest blog was provided by Respect 90, Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon’s charity which provides children and families opportunities to develop championship attitudes through sports, academics and community involvement.
As a little girl in the seventies in Northwest Chicago, Carol Valentino-Barry used to love to look at things upside down.
“There are pictures of me as a little girl hanging upside down,” she laughs. “My father told me I always did that. He said it was my thing.”
That may help explain why today, she could be a copywriter for the messaging on Joe Maddon’s brilliantly inspiring T-shirts with a slightly different point of view.
Like the one that says it is OK to be uncomfortable.
The Salvation Army Christmas Campaign runs October 1 through January 31, and this year the campaign raised more than $26 million in financial and in-kind donations for our programs and services. We also continued several initiatives designed to recruit volunteers and remind clients of important services available to them.
Have you ever seen the movie “The Blind Side?” It’s based on a true story about Michael Oher, a traumatized, homeless boy who would later become a first-round NFL draft pick with the help of a caring woman, Leigh Anne Tuohy, and her family. And while there are so many heart-wrenching scenes in the movie, the one that stands out the most to us is when Michael is first shown his new bedroom.
“Never had one before,” Michael admits.
“What? A room to yourself?” asks Leigh Anne.
“A bed,” Michael responds, staring amazedly at his new bed.
We can’t tell you the number of people who come to The Salvation Army with whom we could have similar conversations. These men, women and children have known nothing but a life of hardship – falling in and out of homelessness, jumping from couch to couch or living in their cars. But that changes the moment they find The Salvation Army. Continue reading “Bed & Bread Club: Fighting Hunger and Homelessness”