"The Social Service Center has always regarded adaptability as one of its core values, so it’s no surprise that after a few dozen contingency plans early on in the pandemic, we have found our stride to still meet guests’ immediate and long-term needs, even if the delivery looks a bit different. Our guests still need food to eat, clean clothes to change into, and hygiene products to maintain comfort and health.
But above all, I’ve noticed our guests are looking for community and connection.
We’ve had so many folks come to the Gratz Center doors and share they’re glad to see us and ask how our staff is doing, and they’re bringing new guests along with them who are also in need of support. So, while some of the guests who’ve received services over the past several years are still actively engaging, they are looking out for their fellow community members who are new to the area and/or situations of hardship.
The pandemic has caused complex challenges that none of us expected, and I can tell that the Social Service Center--and all Chicago Lights programming--is needed now more than ever to provide some relief, some connection, and some hope."
- Jackie Lorens Harris, Director of the Social Service Center (pictured on site assisting with curbside services)