Mission and History

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Mission of the Lincoln Park Community Shelter

The Lincoln Park Community Shelter brings communities together to empower homeless men and women to make and sustain life changes.

Vision

  • We will provide a holistic continuum of services that removes barriers and increases self-sufficiency.
  • We will be a leader and innovator in creating solutions to homelessness in our community.
  • We believe that every person in our community has a stake in and can contribute to ending homelessness.

Values

  • Accountability: The LPCS, its Guests, and stakeholders are a community with common interests - each group supports and is accountable to the other. The LPCS and its Guests are accountable to each other for the success of each individual and programs overall. The LPCS is also accountable to its many volunteers, donors, and the community at large to provide quality programs that enhance the lives of all those involved.
  • Self-Determination: Guests take ownership of the change process by setting short- and long-term goals according to their needs. Guests and staff work in partnership, developing individually tailored programs that enable Guests to achieve their goals.
  • Community Engagement: LPCS, its Guests, and its supporters work with Lincoln Park residents, local community organizations, faith communities, and the business community to ensure mutual respect, understanding, and cooperation.

 

History of the Lincoln Park Community Shelter

In 1985, the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless estimated that 25,000 people would be homeless in Chicago. A group of concerned neighbors in the Lincoln Park area of Chicago got together to discuss a way to help homeless people in their community.

A partnership was formed with four neighboring churches: the Church of Our Saviour Episcopal Church, Lincoln Park Presbyterian Church, St. Clement Catholic Church, and St. Pauls United Church of Christ. On February 12, 1985, the Lincoln Park Community Shelter opened its doors to a handful of homeless neighbors. The LPCS is not religiously affiliated, and is completely privately funded. Operating on a modest budget, we rely largely on the support of volunteers. Truly a community-based organization, the LPCS has always been operated by the pool of more than 1,500 volunteers each year who serve as meal providers and overnight supervisors.

Since its inception, LPCS has grown in many ways. The churches continued to provide not only sleeping facilities, but kitchen facilities, showers, storage rooms, laundry areas, and offices as a meal program was added, capacity increased to 40 beds, and social services were offered to help guests return to self-sufficiency. In October 1996, a comprehensive social service program (On Track Program) was developed and implemented to address barriers to housing and to work with individuals to overcome these obstacles.

 In May 1999, LPCS made the transition from a seasonal shelter (operating only during the months of October-May) to offering continuous support throughout the entire year. 

In 2004, LPCS began a capital campaign to renovate one of its program sites, the basement of the Lincoln Park Presbyterian Church. Construction began in October 2006, and the newly renovated facility opened in June 2007, offering 24-hour services for the first time, and much improved living and program space for 35 guests, including separate quarters for up to 11 women.

In July 2013, ICLP housed its first residents, drawing qualified individuals from Chicago’s Central Referral System.  By December 2013, all 15 units were filled!

In December 2014, LPCS hired new Executive Director, Dan Hula.

On February 12, 2015, LPCS celebrated 30 years of providing service to individuals experiencing homelessness. LPCS continues to rely on the support of volunteers and supporters throughout the community. Much appreciation goes to the founding churches, community residents and businesses for continuing to support the LPCS.