Working to end homelessness for over 30 years

In 1988, a group of leaders from the La Grange area faith community came together to ease the distress of the homeless people in their area.  A group at First Presbyterian Church of La Grange initially studied the area to determine the need and feasibility for creating a program based on the DuPage County PADS (Public Action to Deliver Shelter).  They identified 40 people in the immediate area who were homeless and needed somewhere to spend the night.  Lyonsville Congregational Church of Christ in Indian Head Park, Hope Lutheran Church in Countryside, and Zion Lutheran Church in Lyons joined First Presbyterian to form Building Ecumenical Discipleship through Sheltering, or B.E.D.S, in 1989.

Staffed by volunteers, each church agreed to offer shelter for one night a week, with the shelters closing during the summer.  The rotating schedule of sheltering people in different churches in different neighborhoods on different nights not only distributed the work of delivering shelter, it allayed community concerns about negative impact on any one neighborhood.  In 1988, 28 homeless people made a total of 99 visits to B.E.D.S. shelters.

By the second year four more churches became part of the mission. They were St. Louise de Marrillac in LaGrange Park, St. Francis Xavier in LaGrange, Brainard Ave. Baptist Church in LaGrange Highlands, and Church of Christ in Brookfield.  BEDS was now able to offer shelter seven nights a week. In 1989, 77 people made a total of 700 visits.  The program was on its way.

Since then, the agency has grown into a leader in reducing and ending homelessness throughout Southwest Suburban Cook County through partnerships with other service providers, public and private financial support, and strategic addition of evidence-based practices to house, stabilize and foster independence for some of the most vulnerable people in our communities.  Today, BEDS Plus Care delivers the entire array of established interventions to end homelessness, as described throughout our web site.

2018

PURPOSE-BUILT PSH BUILDING OPENS

PURPOSE-BUILT PSH BUILDING OPENS
Ogden Avenue Supportive Housing opens its doors to 20 residents with histories of chronic homelessness and disability.
2017

TRANSITIONAL HOUSING OFFERED

TRANSITIONAL HOUSING OFFERED

LaGrange Area Transitional Housing (LATH) becomes a BEDS subsidiary, providing families with a disability a place to live and become independent.

2016

EMERGENCY SERVICES EXPAND SOUTH

EMERGENCY SERVICES EXPAND SOUTH

BEDS Plus adds nine new shelter sites in Southwest Suburban Cook County, bringing the shelter capacity to 110 beds a night.

2012

BEST PRACTICE EMPHASIZES HOUSING FIRST

BEST PRACTICE EMPHASIZES HOUSING FIRST

BEDS adopts a Housing First strategy to move shelter guests quickly into housing and help them stay housed through individualized case management.

2005

FUNDRAISING FOR AGENCY GROWS

FUNDRAISING FOR AGENCY GROWS

BEDS Plus holds its first major fundraising event, Harvest Moon, to increase resources for shelter and other services

2003

HOUSING/HEALTH CONNECTION MADE

HOUSING/HEALTH CONNECTION MADE

Project Wellness Initiative Network provides housing for chronically ill homeless who are heavy users of emergency rooms.

1998

NEW COMMUNITY INVESTMENT IN BEDS

NEW COMMUNITY INVESTMENT IN BEDS

BEDS Plus receives its first major grant funding from the Community Memorial Foundation.

1997

AGENCY GOES PROFESSIONAL

AGENCY GOES PROFESSIONAL

Molly Salisbury is hired as the agency’s first Program Director.

1994

NEEDS ADDRESSED THROUGH DAYLIGHT HOURS

NEEDS ADDRESSED THROUGH DAYLIGHT HOURS

Recognizing that shelter guests need somewhere to go during the day, BEDS Plus opens the first Daytime Support Center.

1988

COURAGEOUS RESPONSE TO AREA HOMELESSNESS

COURAGEOUS RESPONSE TO AREA HOMELESSNESS

B.E.D.S., Building Ecumenical Discipleship through Shelter, is established by a group from First Presbyterian Church of LaGrange and partner churches from the area.

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