BEDS Plus Care Newsletter: June 9, 2021

COD Cares brings green thumbs to BEDS
COD Cares recently sent helping hands from the College of DuPage Horticulture program to the BEDS Plus Care Ogden Avenue Supportive Housing facility to help spruce up the grounds in partnership with BEDS and the Grace Seeds Ministry. Volunteers transformed an overgrown area outside the OASH facility’s main entrance into a native plant rain garden.

COD students who volunteered their time said they wanted to create an environment of calmness and peace where BEDS clients can feel comfortable. Grace Seeds Ministry is a longtime partner of BEDS Plus and also works with BEDS to operate and donate to a vegetable garden at OASH that is maintained by the clients who live there.
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Congratulations to Jamie and Tom! These two cousins are longtime Street Outreach clients. For years, they survived on the street and places not meant for human habitation. Their move-in marks the success of our formalized street outreach efforts, to meet their basic needs, provide services, and complete required documentation even when someone is unsheltered. They moved directly from the street into permanent supportive housing.

In line with HUD’s Housing First approach to homelessness, BEDS prioritizes getting people into housing; however, we recognize that homelessness causes and exacerbates a range of health problems that make regaining a home difficult. Sixty percent of our clients report a serious health or behavioral health condition, and we’ve invested in programs to help our clients manage their illnesses and disabilities, including adding a dedicated Clinical Director, Community Health Workers, and onsite health and behavioral healthcare clinics at our shelters and daytime support center. Today, we’re talking to Dr. Jennifer Swoyer, Director of the Family Residency Program at AMITA La Grange. Dr. Swoyer’s been a key partner as we’ve worked with AMITA and Pillars Community Health to provide onsite healthcare and open the Summit Service Center. Click here to read more on our blog. Learn more about the Summit Service Center here.

BEDS Bulletin! In an exclusive interview with NPR, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge said the Biden administration is committed to housing as many people as possible and preventing an explosion of homelessness in the months ahead. Though millions of Americans are behind on their rent and there is a severe shortage of affordable housing, Fudge, selected to chair the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, said the eradication of homelessness is a priority. "We want every single person, no matter their station, to find a way to get out of, not just off the streets, but even out of shelters," she said.

BEDS Plus Prevention Specialist Yvonne Butchee talks about our Prevention program, which helps clients who are behind on their rent and utilities. Staff members also are working to help tenants and landlords apply for the Illinois Housing Development Authority's Illinois Rental Payment Program, an emergency rental assistance program designed to support households that are unable to pay rent due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Watch as BEDS Community Health Worker and Prevention Specialist Andres Munoz helps a landlord navigate and apply for ILRPP rental assistance on behalf of a tenant. Click here to watch the video.
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