Working to end homelessness for over 30 years

In 1988, La Grange area faith and lay leaders founded Building Ecumenical Discipleship through Sheltering (BEDS) after seeing community residents sleeping outdoors. BEDS began as an overnight shelter rotating among area faith-based organization, but volunteers quickly realized that residents needed more than safe places to spend the night. We professionalized, adding case management, a daytime support center, and partnerships with area human services.

Beginning in 2014, BEDS adopted the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Housing First approach to homelessness and began providing evidence-based Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Rehousing programs. Three years later, we doubled our service area after we assumed management of a near-South suburban shelter network. The expansion brought in more clients with complex needs, including domestic violence survivors and people experiencing chronic homelessness (having been homeless for a year or more with a disability). We began developing programs to help them regain and sustain housing.

Our first Permanent Supportive Housing facility—Ogden Avenue Supportive Housing—opened in 2018, and we partnered with nearby housing agencies to lease 80 scattered site apartments for people with histories of chronic homelessness. We created Transitional Housing programs for clients with intensive needs, including families, domestic violence survivors, other victims of crime, and transition aged youth. Working with AMITA Health and Pillars Community Health, we began offering clinical health and behavioral healthcare services onsite in our shelters and daytime support centers.

In response to COVID-19, we reshaped our Emergency and other services to protect our clients and communities. We completed a campaign to open the Linda Frances Sokol Summit Service Center, which will be the first homeless medical respite facility in Cook County and the second largest in Illinois. Medical respite care is medical care for homeless persons who are too fragile to recover from an illness/injury on the streets but their condition is not serious enough to have a prolonged stay in a hospital.

2022

NEW SUMMIT SERVICE CENTER TO OPEN

NEW SUMMIT SERVICE CENTER TO OPEN
Chronically homeless clients with disabling conditions will receive temporary housing at the new Summit Service Center, 7666 W. 63rd Street, scheduled to open Summer 2022.
2021

BEDS KEEPS LOW- AND VERY LOW- INCOME COMMUNITY MEMBERS IN HOMES

BEDS KEEPS LOW- AND VERY LOW- INCOME COMMUNITY MEMBERS IN HOMES

BEDS facilitates $1 million in direct and government emergency rental assistance to help at-risk households remain in housing.

2020

BEDS EFFECTIVELY RESPONDS TO COVID-19

BEDS EFFECTIVELY RESPONDS TO COVID-19

Immediately after Illinois’ emergency declaration, BEDS reshapes its services to protect its clients and communities during the pandemic.

2019

ONSITE HEALTHCARE SERVICES BEGIN

ONSITE HEALTHCARE SERVICES BEGIN

BEDS partners with AMITA Health, The Cognitive Clinic, and Pillars Community Health to provide healthcare and behavioral healthcare services at its daytime support center and emergency shelter sites.

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.

Bands for BEDS Tickets On Sale Now! Friday, Oct 28thClick HERE
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