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PADS to focus on homeless prevention

MORRIS – Grundy Area PADS (Public Action to Deliver Sustenance) is expanding its focus to include homeless prevention.

“We’ve always made sure immediate needs are covered,” said Brent Newman, PADS board president. “But we haven’t put as much focus on preventing homelessness. We will become more focused on resources to prevent it.”

He said the board plans additional fundraisers to help prevent homelessness.

This year’s shelter season runs from Oct. 13 to April 17 and will provide homeless people with a place to eat, clean up and sleep, away from the elements.

“PADS is, for a lot of people, the last hope they have between freezing to death and living,” Newman said. “Without PADS, I don’t know what would happen to them.”

PADS is run by community volunteers who attend orientation and have the chance to enroll in a Mental Health First Aid class at the Grundy County Sheriff’s department, where they learn about identifying mental health needs and how to respond.

Anyone 18 or older interested in learning more about the PADS program and how to help provide emergency overnight shelter for Grundy County’s homeless is invited to attend a volunteer orientation.

Volunteers are asked to sign up for one shift a month. Shift one runs from 6 to 11 p.m. on shelter nights, while shift two is from 10:45 p.m. to 3 a.m. The third shift runs from 2:45 to 7:30 a.m.

Six Morris churches will act as Grundy PADS shelter sites this year. Shelter volunteers come not only from the church congregations, but also from work sites and the community.

PADS sites provide: a safe overnight shelter from the elements; a sleeping pad with blanket and sheets; towels and a place to clean-up each night; an evening meal and a small breakfast;a sack lunch for the next day.

For information, contact We Care of Grundy County at 815-942-6389.

This year, the shelter sites include:

• Monday at Peace Lutheran, 101 Candlelight Lane, Morris.

• Tuesday at First United Methodist, 118 W. Jackson St., Morris.

• Wednesday at First Christian, 455 W. Southmor Road, Morris.

• Thursday at First Presbyterian Church, 200 E. Jackson St., Morris.

• Friday at Immaculate Conception Catholic’s Meeting House, 622 E. Jackson St., Morris.

• Saturday at Living Word Bible Church, 304 E. Jackson, Morris.

• Sunday at Peace Lutheran, 101 Candlelight Lane, Morris.

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