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Help us Create a Brighter Future

A note from our Executive Director

Dear Friends,


There are few things in life as heartbreaking as losing your home. And there is nothing better than finding your way back.

I’d like to take a moment to tell you a little bit about Carl & Adrienne. We first met this wonderful couple while they were living outside in a tent. After an initial intake process and ensuring that they had a warm place to sleep at night, we learned that they loved animals, music, and books—that they dreamed of having a place to call home again not only for the safety and security that home provides, but so that they could focus more on finding work and nurturing the interests that make them who they are.

After working with their Case Manager at PADS to search for housing options, sign-up for healthcare, and look for job opportunities, Carl eventually got a call letting him know that there was an apartment available for him and Adrienne. He shared that when they finally signed the lease and got the keys to their own home: “I lost it. I walked in and fell to my knees, and I just said, ‘Honey, we're home’ …  This place means I can come in when it's raining and listen to the rooftop. I can close the windows. I can open the windows. I can let the breeze go. I can turn the heat on. I can cook. I can make my music … I have a life. I need this. I need this. Thank you, PADS.”

Carl is now a proud member of the Waukegan Symphony Orchestra.

Your support makes moments like this possible—and we could never thank you enough for that.


Without a home, an important part of Carl & Adrienne’s world was missing. So many of the clients who walk through our doors are in need not only of shelter, a hot meal, and services to get them into housing—but of hope. Fortunately, community members like you have seen that need and responded with empathy and generosity. You have recognized that the clients we serve are whole, complex people—mothers looking to provide a better life for their children, teenagers nervous about starting high school, musicians, cooking enthusiasts—people who get lonely and feel joy just like you and me.

The people who come into PADS for help are more than the fact that they struggle daily with mental health issues, that they’re fleeing domestic violence, or that they were laid off and subsequently evicted from their homes. Their struggles are real. The traumas they have faced are real. But at the end of the day they aren’t so different from the friends and family that we love. They just need a little bit of help getting back on their feet—and the hope to sustain them until they do.

You have provided that hope for the individuals and families we serve. Your support has helped them to see that there is a future full of possibility ahead. Last year, thanks to you, over 1,800 people experiencing homelessness in Lake County found hope and were able to receive access to holistic resources, need-based support, and nightly shelter 365 days a year. These life-saving services cannot be sustained without your support. Are you ready to make an impact on our neighbors in need this year?

For over 30 years, PADS—in partnership with our passionate staff, dedicated volunteers, and community supporters—has worked toward our vision of creating a community where homelessness is rare, brief, and non-recurring by providing a comprehensive approach to reducing homelessness. Our programs all seek to help our neighbors create sturdy foundations in homes so that they can build brighter futures for themselves and contribute to our community.

These services only exist because of the generosity of community members like you. So today I write to humbly ask you to consider making a gift to support our neighbors right here in Lake County.


Your gift will help Marcus find a job and a new apartment after being laid off.

Your gift will help Veronica build a new life after finally breaking free from an abusive relationship.


Your gift will help Will focus on his schoolwork because he knows he has a safe, warm place to sleep at night and a hot meal to eat.


Your generous gift extends a loving hand to those in need in our community.

With your renewed support, we can make a real difference and end homelessness as we know it. The need is great but—thanks to supporters like you—the future is bright. Please accept my warmest and most sincere thank you for making our work possible. We truly could not do it without you.


With sincere gratitude,

Meghan Powell-Filler
Executive Director

PS: Thanks to a generous foundation, all new & increased gifts (up to $20,000) will be matched dollar for dollar. Give before December 31st to double your impact.

​As we seek to provide the best solutions for our community, we've asked three key questions:

What if we could stop individuals & families from becoming homeless? 


​Our Prevention and Diversion Program works to provide early intervention for persons who are near homelessness to give them the resources and support necessary to keep them in their current home and out of the shelter system.

This program helps to reduce the number of families becoming homeless, the demand for shelter beds, and the size of program wait lists.

What if we could reach people in the community to engage them in services?


​Our Outreach Program seeks to find and engage persons experiencing homelessness out in the community—sleeping on the streets, in cars, tents, or elsewhere. We literally meet them where they are and help engage them into services that will provide the resources and support they need to find long-term, stable housing. These are often the most vulnerable individuals, and oftentimes have some resistance to services. Building trust and rapport is a key component to a successful outreach program.

What if those experiencing homelessness didn't have to worry about their healthcare needs on top of everything else? 


​The PADS Homeless Healthcare Access Program provides on-site assessments and services, increased access to health care professionals, transportation to and from appointments, prescription assistance and storage, and other important resources.

​By eliminating some of the barriers that prevent clients from seeking and receiving medical care, they can get the treatment necessary to improving their physical health so that they can focus on finding stable housing and moving into self-sufficiency.

© 2016 by PADS Lake County