“So many goals at first seem impossible. And then they seem improbable. And then when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable.” – Christopher Reeve
Our most immediate future goal is an expansion of our Peru PADS Shelter. Currently the shelter is able to house 24 clients in separated areas – male and female.
To better serve the area’s homeless we recognize the need for changes in our physical structure. Specifically, we need to accomplish the following:
- Provide family rooms
- so that family units consisting of both a father and mother are not separated when residing with us
- to better accommodate the fastest growing group of homeless people throughout the country – families with children
- to improve the safety and privacy of the growing number of children residing in the shelter
- Increase the capacity to serve more people
- As we have had a significant increase in the number of individuals served in the Peru shelter
- And to accommodate any overflow from the Ottawa shelter
- While providing enough space, laundry facilities, and restroom facilities to promote safety and health
- Provide larger classroom space
- To offer classes such as budgeting, life skills, computers, parenting, and reflections for an increased number of clients
- To offer a better space for volunteer groups to provide Bible study and for support groups
- To have a quiet place for students to complete their homework and study
- To have the opportunity to expand our programs and classes in the future
Watch here for updates, progress reports, and photos of the development of the expansion.
UPDATE as of 4/2018:
Progress is being made toward our goal of expanding Peru PADS!
Plans for a 5,880 square foot addition to the 3,200 square foot shelter have been drawn up. Our “Expanding Our Space…Expanding Hope” campaign has kicked off to raise the necessary funds to add this important addition.
The addition will help IV PADS better serve individuals by doubling the amount of sleeping space, providing dedicated rooms to house families as a unit, providing additional space for individuals with health challenges, offering a much larger classroom space to better fit the needs of our clients, providing private offices for case management and professionals to meet with clients, and expanding washrooms and laundry facilities to meet the needs of more people.
Another way that our organization could improve the services we provide to the homeless is to increase the length of the season that we serve. Current funding allows our two shelters – Ottawa and Peru – to remain open for 9 months of the year. The shelters are open and staffed from September 1st through May 31st.
Our goal is to increase the season by 4 weeks, specifically to open 2 weeks earlier and close 2 weeks later. The additional time will allow
- IV PADS to serve more people in need
- Rely less heavily on other shelters and service agencies to care for individuals when we are closed
- Allow homeless families with children to declare a residence prior to the first day of school to avoid delayed starts due to paperwork and transportation issues
- Allow clients additional time to search for and secure housing and to move out at the end of the season to decrease the chances they will need to move to another shelter
- To lessen the chances that children will have to move away before the completion of the school year
To support IV PADS as we take on this major project, you can make a donation here.
UPDATE as of 1/2018:
The IV PADS Board voted to expand the shelter season of the Ottawa PADS Shelter by 2 weeks to accommodate families with school-aged children. Ottawa PADS will re-open for Season 27 on August 15th instead of the usual September 1st opening. This will allow families with children to be registered for school with an address which will prevent delays in beginning school or setting up bus transportation. The reason for beginning at the Ottawa Shelter is that the majority of families stay in Ottawa due to the availability of family rooms. Any families needing to enroll in school who wish to stay at the Peru PADS Shelter will also have the opportunity to register into the IV PADS Shelter Program at Ottawa PADS from August 15th-August 30th and then transfer to Peru PADS on September 1st. Shelter staff will be available to assist with the school registration process.
In addition, both shelters will remain open after May 31st for families with children IF the children residing in the shelter are attending school past that date.
This is a positive first step in expanding the length of the shelter season.
Expand our Lily Pads Resale Boutique to include a second location. Lily Pads Resale Boutique, located on Progress Blvd in Peru, is an upscale resale boutique whose proceeds directly fund IV PADS operations. They remain open year-round to accept, process, and price donations. Lily Pads provides donated items directly to shelter clients as well as sells items to earn revenue to maintain both the Peru and Ottawa PADS Shelters.
Our goal is to add a second boutique in Ottawa. This would help IV PADS in the following ways:
- Create another avenue for year-round income to IV PADS so that we can continue to grow our services to the homeless
- Provide a specific location to accept donations in the Ottawa area other than the Ottawa PADS Shelter.
- This will improve the donation experience for the donor as there will be trained staff and volunteers available to accept donations during set hours
- and will allow Ottawa PADS Shelter staff and volunteers to fully concentrate their efforts on working with homeless clients
- Partner with the Ottawa and surrounding communities (who have been supportive of IV PADS) at a deeper level by managing a clean, organized, well-run donation center and boutique shopping experience
UPDATE as of 4/2018:
We are excited to announce immediate plans for the creation of Lily Pads Too!
Lily Pads Too will be located at 411 E Stevenson Rd. Ottawa, IL. The store and donation center will be open Monday-Saturday from 9:00AM-5:00PM. We are actively recruiting staff and volunteers. Stay up-to-date with this exciting new opportunity.