Updated: October 7, 2012 8:05AM
For those with nowhere to go, no place to sleep and little chance those equations will change soon, PADS Lake County offers them a chance at some degree of normalcy seven days a week as they try to rediscover a direction for their lives.
The county’s emergency shelter folks not only offer the homeless a roof over their heads this fall, winter and spring, but much more. They offer dignity for the individuals and families who stay there; a good place to live, if only for a while.
The public often misunderstands homeless shelters, most of which provide a place to sleep for the night and then send their guests packing in the morning. Homelessness is a nomadic and desperate life. Lake County PADS (Public Action to Deliver Shelter) for years has operated a network of nightly shelters which has grown to 14 at churches across Lake County, and the agency’s assessment center in North Chicago.
It is volunteers who make the wheels of this homeless vehicle turn. To that end, PADS needs volunteers when the upcoming shelter season begins Oct. 1. It lasts through April 30. Those volunteers are needed to staff the overnight shift —what we in the news business call the lobster shift. Others call it the graveyard shift and most factory workers know it as the third shift.
Certainly, they have a hard time every year filling the 20 or so slots needed for the overnight shift. At the same time, PADS needs volunteers to make sack lunches to be handed out at shelter locations.
Whether it be PADS or other non-profit agencies, volunteers help to offer hope to those who need it most. If you’re interested in helping at PADS, call (847) 689-4357, extension 121, or visit its Web site at www.padslakecounty.org.