The Catholic Charities New Hope Apartments program lifts homeless families out of poverty. The program assists families with renting an apartment, then aids the family in seeking employment or job training, paying down debt, and opening a savings account. The program also teaches living skills and promotes confidence and independence in clients who have faced daunting challenges and deep struggles.
Initially the New Hope program pays rent and utilities and provides food for three balanced meals a day, personal care products, and needed transportation. With time, the families pay utilities and an increasing portion of their own rent.
Currently, New Hope supports a total of 19 families in apartments in Chicago and area suburbs.
Our Lady of Perpetual Help extends the reach of the New Hope Apartments program in several ways. OLPH pays the entire rent for one family as it progresses through the program. In addition, OLPH shares with St. Catherine Laboure and St. Phillip the Apostle the two-year rent commitment for a second family. Our three parishes have all established a nice connection with “our” families and with each other.
OLPH and partnering parishes also help Catholic Charities furnish the apartments using the Sharing Room resources. The new family is given the furnishings as their own, and the supporting parishes also present the new residents with a Welcome Basket.
A group of parishioners at OLPH comprise a caring committee that gives special support to the families. Each month, while protecting the families’ anonymity, a Catholic Charities social worker updates the committee on the families. These parishioners also offer caring support via cards and prayers. At holidays, parishioners provide gift cards and other material expressions of their care and concern.
Presently, five additional parishes participate in the New Hope program St. Athanasius and St. Mary in Evanston, St. Joseph in Wilmette, St. Paul of the Cross in Park Ridge, and Mary Seat of Wisdom in Park Ridge. Together, our eight parishes serve four families who otherwise would not be given this opportunity to be blessed with a better chance in life.
This simple program is very real. Families who have gone through the New Hope program find their paths in life to be profoundly changed. From living in shelters and in their cars with unimaginable stress, they are given new lives of hope, security, and dignity.
OLPH is blessed to be a part of this powerful force for justice and hope. We are committed to expanding the reach of New Hope by seeking commitments from other suburban parishes to support more families.
For further information, please contact Sharon at 847.724.0667.
Our Lady of Perpetual Help: 1775 Grove Street, Glenview, Illinois 60025 Phone: 847.729.1525 Email Us