Thanks to funding from the National Low Income Housing Coalition, Housing Action Illinois subgranted $10,000 to South Suburban PADS. These funds supported the agency’s work providing interim housing and emergency shelter.
Like many shelter providers, South Suburban PADS moved clients into hotels when the state’s shelter-in-place order was announced.
During the pandemic, PADS is housing 80 people in area hotels, where staff are providing food assistance and cleaning supplies. To help meet clients’ needs, a PADS case manager is living onsite full time. The agency is also housing clients in senior apartments while COVID-19 risk is high.
Providing emergency shelter in hotels is expensive. Between paying for rooms, supporting its clients sheltering in affordable housing, and staffing, PADS says supporting 100 people for 90 days will cost approximately $290,000, due to the costs of booking hotel rooms and providing adequate staffing.
“Our expenses have increased dramatically, but so has public support,” said Doug Kenshol, PADS’ Executive Director.
Thanks to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, Housing Action Illinois has subgranted $10,000 to South Suburban PADS. With the funding, PADS was able to pay for 143 nights of hotel shelter for eight households experiencing homelessness due to the pandemic.
“The shift to hotel shelter was very successful in keeping guests safe from COVID-19,” said Kenshol. “In July, we had an opportunity to test all of the hotel guests and none were positive for the virus.”
At the beginning of May, South Suburban PADS was providing meals and emergency shelter in hotel rooms for 80 people. In addition, the organization has also been delivering essential food and cleaning supplies—as well as rental assistance and other support—to 300 individuals who were formerly homeless but have gained affordable housing through one of the agency’s programs.
“The pandemic is not going away,” he said. “We will need to sustain our crisis response for at least twelve months.”