Hundreds Expected at a Flavorful Soup Event That Helps the Homeless Keep Warm This Winter and All Year

La Grange IL – January 8, 2024 - Hot soup is considered the ultimate comfort food, and now it brings comfort to the homeless, too, with the return of Soup & Bread, a family-friendly fundraiser benefiting BEDS Plus, a nonprofit organization that assists vulnerable individuals in the Southwest Suburbs stabilize their lives through housing and supportive services.

Hundreds of guests will savor 20 specialty soups from a wide array of independently owned restaurants, plus enjoy live music, craft beers and wines, raffles and more at a bustling event on Sunday, February 4. Soups such as Lobster Bisque, Smoky Sweet Potato, Chicken Veloute, Cream of Roasted Jalapeno and, of course, Chicken Noodle are just a few of the varieties prepared and donated by local chefs from participating restaurants in La Grange, Brookfield, McCook, Willow Springs, Summit, Palos Heights, Oak Lawn, Countryside and more.

As a record number of people are experiencing homelessness, Soup & Bread returns for the 12th year. It will be held from 3pm to 7pm at the Holiday Inn West – Countryside, 6201 Joliet Road in Countryside. Tickets are currently on sale for $25 per person which includes soups, breads, and desserts plus a BEDS Plus mug. Kids ages 8 and under are admitted free.

Entertainment includes Charles and Company dance band; Mark Dvorak, troubadour of the Midwest; and others including a roving magician.

“Soup & Bread is more than an event, it’s a testament to the power of community support and proof that when we unite, we can create lasting change,” said Tina Rounds, the executive director of BEDS Plus. “This is a community that firmly believes that everyone deserves a bed to sleep in and a place they can call home. Funds raised by Soup & Bread go beyond providing a warm space for the night. They equip our clients with the resources they need to find permanent housing,” she said.

New this year is a special Soup & Bread “staycation” overnight rate at the hotel on Saturday, February 3. Soup & Bread guests can enjoy a discounted rate of $119 plus tax for a family of four, access to the pool and facilities on Saturday with a late check out on Sunday. Event tickets are sold separately.

Soup & Bread is presented by Linda Sokol Francis E.A.; Nucor Chicago; Rockpile Strategies LLC; FNBC Bank & Trust; International Contractors Inc; CJ Erickson Plumbing; iD Additives; Smothers Group with Compass; Marquette Bank; Posey Law Group; American Family Insurance – Philip Wagler Agency; Heartland Bank and Trust; and O-Cedar as well as many other local businesses committed to helping the homeless keep warm this winter and throughout the year.

Purchase tickets and find out more about the event here. For additional information about BEDS Plus, please contact the development manager, Erin Molek, at molek@beds-plus.org or 708-354-0858.

DATA SHOWS HIGHEST NUMBERS OF HOMELESS SINCE REPORTING BEGAN

Each year, the Department of Housing and Urban Development takes a count* of sheltered and unsheltered people experiencing homelessness on a single night in January. Called the Point in Time (PIT) count, last year’s stark findings showed that over 653,000 individuals spent one of the coldest nights of the year in homeless shelters or places not meant for human habitation like entrances, parking garages, under bridges and viaducts, abandoned houses and buildings and forest preserves, the highest number since reporting began in 2007.  This year’s Point in Time count takes place on Wednesday, January 31, 2024.

ABOUT BEDS PLUS

BEDS Plus delivers emergency services, including overnight shelter, housing services and homelessness prevention to reduce and end homelessness in Southwest Suburban Cook County. Case managers work with clients on individual service plans to help them secure affordable housing, stabilize, and rejoin their communities. The nonprofit organization connects clients with other agencies to address the needs of special populations, including families with children; seniors; veterans; domestic violence survivors; and people with disabilities. Professional and lay volunteers provide meals and food, routine health screenings, physician and behavioral health referrals, legal counsel, employment support groups and wrap-around supports.

Last year, BEDS Plus served 2494 people experiencing homelessness and imminent risk of homelessness, 11 percent more than 2022. They launched a Triage Transitional Shelter for people experiencing homelessness, including newly arrived immigrants; opened the Summit Service Center which houses their Medical Respite program, a Daytime Support Center, and Emergency Service Connections, and reopened a service office in the South Suburbs.

*  This number does not account for people living in unstable arrangements with family members and friends, so the actual number is much higher. 

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