BEDS Plus Care Newsletter: April 14, 2021
New Summit Service Center will help
medically fragile homeless
Albert is back home in the community where he grew up. After years of experiencing homelessness, Albert made his way to a BEDS Plus Shelter in La Grange. He was connected with Housing Case Manager Jennifer Tudor and qualified for permanent supportive housing.

Albert was homeless and struggled with travel to and from shelter sites because of his COPD, heart failure and wheelchair. He often resorted to living on public transportation.

"I didn't have a choice really at the time. It was rough," he said.

The Summit Service Center will give people like Albert a place to live with dignity while they stabilize and qualify for permanent supportive housing.

"Having one stable environment for Albert would have cut down his hospital visits tremendously," Jennifer said. "Having a place for people to stay especially after coming out of the hospital would be a game-changer for them. They would have a spot where they could feel healthy. They would be able to take care of themselves and really heal."

BEDS Plus is strengthening the local safety net by developing a new interim housing program in Summit. The Summit Service Center is a $2.6 million public-private investment in long-term solutions for people who are poor and find themselves homeless in Southwest Suburban Cook County.

The COVID-19 pandemic revealed critical gaps in Cook County’s suburban safety net. This extraordinary year made it clear that BEDS Plus must reimagine our essential services to address the serious needs of medically fragile and homeless persons in our community.

People who are homeless and also have disabling conditions struggle to manage their health care. They often rely on emergency rooms for medical treatment. When discharged from the hospital they often return to emergency rooms with worsened conditions because they lack a place to live to coordinate follow-up care. The Summit Service Center will provide up to 24 months of fixed site, interim housing for medically fragile homeless adults, allowing them to live with dignity while they stabilize and qualify for permanent housing.

Albert's struggle would have been eased by a fixed site shelter location like the Summit Service Center, and he likely would have found permanent supportive housing sooner. As for finally getting housed, Albert calls it a blessing.

"A blessing. It's a blessing to me, yes, to say that this is mine," Albert said of getting housed.

For people who are struggling to meet basic human needs, the Summit Service Center will improve access to community-based and public resources. Together with long-standing and trusted partners, BEDS Plus will increase access to health care, mental health services and housing programs in a community at the heart of its service territory.

"Albert's not a one-in-a-million person," Jennifer said. "There's constantly people that are coming to shelter with health conditions."

Click here to learn more about the Summit Service Center.
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"I am a mother and woman who was trying to get her life together, not just for me but for my kids. If my kids can see that I am trying and doing it, then that will show that they can do it too. My kids are the reflection of who I am."

We are so proud of Kayla and congratulate her on moving into housing! We could tell you more about her story, but Kayla tells it best.

"I was looking for help. It was stressful, I was giving up. But then BEDS Plus called me. I initially gained access to obtaining assistance through getting in contact with the Prevention Team and that was a blessing. I shared that I was going back and forth and when I was adopted, I was going house to house. It did not affect me too much but it affected my baby. She got comfortable with being confused and I felt like I was not providing, and it hurt me the most. It was not fair to her. The biggest accomplishment is putting a roof over her head, feeding her. And being able to provide is the best feeling as a mother doing everything I should. The LATH program has truly helped. It is an inspiration to gain independence as a woman, as a mom, and has helped me grow."

Congrats, Kayla! We are honored to have been part of your journey to housing and wish you nothing but the best in your new home.

BEDS Bulletin! New York-based nonprofit Community Solutions was awarded a five-year, $100 million grant to help end homelessness. The nonprofit has developed a framework that has been deployed in more than 80 locations in the U.S. to better coordinate services available to those experiencing homelessness. Fifteen of those participating communities have brought chronic homelessness or U.S. military veteran rates down to what is called functional zero, meaning that homelessness among those populations is brief and rare. Community Solutions President Rosanne Haggerty said the grant will allow the organization to expand its work to 110 communities and also will seed a fund to help close affordable housing gaps. Suburban Cook County is involved with the program, and BEDS is using the nonprofit's materials as a guidepost for planning with public funds.

During National Superheroes Month, we celebrate our staff! Meet Sue Dever, Emergency Services Coordinator. Sue started out as a volunteer at BEDS back in 2014, when she and her teenage son had signed up to work an emergency overnight shelter shift. She became more and more involved as a volunteer and eventually joined the BEDS staff in early 2020. Each week, Sue helps to coordinate the assembly and delivery of food boxes, packaged meals and lunches to our housed and sheltered clients. Read more about why Sue is a BEDS superhero here.

A warm thank you to Joan Smothers of Smothers Group with Compass for supporting of our Match a Meal program. Joan and Smothers Group with Compass have been regular supporters of BEDS by purchasing meals from local restaurants such as prasino, Steak + Vine, Palmer Place Restaurant and Biergarten and Fourteensixteen to name a few to help our vulnerable clients while supporting local businesses at the same time. If you would like to partner with our Match a Meal program, please contact Erin Molek at
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