The shelter will be operated for the Village of Oak Park by the Oak Park Family Transitional Center. This is an entity operated by West Side Service Connector, an Illinois not-for-profit and 501c3 created for service outreach in response to the Archdiocese of Chicago’s Renew My Church Initiative for the Oak Park Catholic Parishes.
Jack Crowe will be the unpaid Executive Director of the Oak Park Family Transitional Shelter. The board members are local parishioners Kenna MacKinnon, Dan Doody and Jack Crowe. The Archdiocese of Chicago, as landlord, required that a separate corporate entity such as this operate the shelter. The shelter will reside in the same building with the Migrant Ministry which has been distributing clothing as well as offering meals, English classes, medical services, and pastoral care. This important volunteer-driven ministry also aids in finding permanent housing. The Migrant Ministry and the new shelter will have opportunities to collaborate as we move forward.
Finally, the West Side Service Connector has a separate business operation called The Neighborhood Bridge that is focused on connecting residents of the West Side to high quality social service providers in Oak Park and Austin with an initial focus on serving local school children and their families. Its work is separate from the Oak Park Family Transitional Shelter and the Migrant Ministry.
We will keep you updated as we move along. Thank you for your ongoing support as we provide assistance to this humanitarian crisis.
This following letter was sent out to the parish over the weekend via a special e-News. Many of you learned of the news from the media before we had an opportunity to communicate this information to you. We apologize for this occurrence as we are working diligently to ensure you stay informed on key parish happenings. Unfortunately, by the time we were notified the media had already received the news as there are multiple organizations involved which have their own communications teams. As we move forward, new developments will be shared with you as information becomes available. We thank you for your understanding and appreciate your support as we work together to help with this humanitarian crisis.
Feruary 3, 2024
On Friday, February 2, 2024, the Village of Oak Park was notified that it was awarded $1.9 million in funding from the Supporting Municipalities for Asylum Seeker Services. Approximately $1.24 million of those funds would be used specifically to operate a temporary shelter in the St. Edmund School building located at 200 South Oak Park Avenue. The funding will cover all costs to operate the shelter which, if the lease is approved by the AOC, would begin on March 1 and extend for four months. A newly-formed not-for-profit that was part of the RMC initiative is overseeing this project. The temporary shelter will be used to provide housing for some of the asylum seekers, mostly families and women with children, currently staying at the Carleton Hotel and the West Suburban YMCA as housing ends on February 29.
The Migrant Ministry