2010 Metamorphosis Party
Homeless to gainfully employed--could there be a more positive metamorphosis? Probably not. That's why The Lincoln Park Community Shelter, a comprehensive social service agency is working to help homeless adult men and women obtain housing and gain self-sufficiency. To that end, the organization is throwing a Metamorphosis Party to both showcase the presentation of the Compassion in Action Award and benefit the LPCS in its quest to create hope and change for Chicago’s homeless.
Our Town spoke with Heather Pressman, the organization’s Community Relations Manager about their success rate, twenty-six year history and of course, the upcoming gala.
Our Town To what do you attribute LPCS’s success rate with members?
Heather Pressman The programs at LPCS are highly individualized, the staff flexible and responsive to guests’ needs. There are several different ways guests can suggest improvements, which helps them invest in the programs they are participating in. Our goal isn’t just to get people housed, [but] to make lasting life changes so that they don’t find themselves homeless again. We also try to stay connected to graduates to ensure things continue to go well and help if needed.
OT What makes LPCS’s individualized support system unique?
HP Guests living in the LPCS work with case managers to assess their needs for referrals to additional support services and permanent housing. Guided by each guest’s personal goals, case managers work to provide resources in three broad areas: Track 1: Addictions Recovery; Track 2: Mental and Physical Health; and Track 3: Employment and Education. The program both empowers and challenges guests to address barriers to self-sufficiency by making progress toward meaningful sobriety, mental stability, healthy lifestyles, livable wage employment and permanent housing. The program also offers daily educational and support groups, classes, and activities, including career building, job search, healthy lifestyles, financial management, computer tutoring, and daily living skills enhancement. Each track has measurable outcomes, and includes assessment, goal setting, referrals, educational groups and classes, advocacy, and follow-up for each guest.
OT This year’s Compassion in Action Award honorees are Pastor Jeffrey Doane from Lincoln Park Presbyterian Church; Reverend Linda Packard from Church of Our Saviour; Father Tom Hickey from St. Clement Church; and Reverend Thomas Henry from St. Pauls United Church of Christ. How were they chosen?
HP The Compassion in Action Award acknowledges that individuals who make long-term commitments to an organization's mission are the people who make both stability and change possible. The recipient of the Compassion in Action Award will always be an individual (or individuals) who inspires the community to action, and one who mirrors the community's compassion, over the long term.
OT Do LPCS’s tie-ins with the religious community affect its work with the LGBT population?
HP Although we were founded by members of four neighborhood churches, we are not religiously affiliated. We strive to have an open community for our guests to live in while they are here. At any given time we have guests of different political, religious, sexual, cultural, and racial backgrounds staying with us, and we do not discriminate on any basis.
OT How did the idea for the Metamorphosis Party come about?
HP We were looking for a way to raise awareness about homelessness and excitement about the work of LPCS, while stepping outside the formal, more traditional fundraiser norm to bring the issue to a new generation of up and coming philanthropists. We wanted an event that was hip, a little edgy, and most of all, a ton of fun.
OT What can guests expect from this year’s event?
HP Great food from Entertaining Company, signature cocktails, an extensive silent auction that includes everything from Crosstown tickets, photographs from LPCS guests and graduates, theater tickets, spa packages, and more! Our live auction features trips to Nantucket and Key West, a skybox for the Cubs vs. Brewers, a sail on Lake Michigan with a world class racing yachtsman, and a garden party for 25. The night will also feature dancing with music spun by DJ Shaka23. A few more packages are also in the works, but we don’t want to reveal them too soon!
A freelance writer with an MFA in Creative Writing from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Sarah Terez Rosenblum, when not writing, supports herself as a figure model, Spinning instructor and teacher at Chicago's Story Studio. Inevitably one day she will find herself lecturing naked on a spinning bike. She’s kind of looking forward to it actually. IMPORTANT: the official Our Town site doesn't support comments. Join in the conversation by followingOur Town on Facebook and Sarah on Twitter: @SarahTerez