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Shelter for All
131 Main St.
West Chicago, IL 60185
Disaster and Recovery
On Saturday, April 27th, 2019 Shelter for All suffered a potential program ending catastrophic disaster. The roof of the 200 High Street Apartment building was being replaced and the old roof was partially removed, the gutters were off, and the roof was improperly tarped when West Chicago received 6 inches of very wet snow followed by torrential rains. The snow and the water had no where to go so it poured through the building severely damaging all 17 units. David Dornblaser was in London that Saturday and returned home the next day, in the mean time two of Mr. Dornblaser’s employees moved all of the tenants into hotel rooms. That Monday mitigation work on the building began many of the ceilings, walls, etc. had to be removed. Water had invaded the electrical system and it had to replaced. With the walls opened it was determined that the plumbing was shot (not disaster event related) and had to be completely replaced.
Reconstruction of the 200 High Street Apartment took 18 months during which time Shelter for All scrambled to find housing for the existing 13 residents and stopped housing new residents. The number of residents that Shelter for All housed dropped from 13 to 5 during that period. One resident who had addiction issues overdosed on heroin while in a hotel. Shelter for All paid for her to go to a detox facility but sadly she was not ready for recovery. Not all of the departures were sad, some were ready to move-on and be self-sufficient including one young man who was homeless during his senior year of High School and has now graduated from Boot Camp and is in the regular US Army. We have now moved all of the remaining Shelter for All residents back into our apartment building.
And, of course, the pandemic hit during this period as well. When the pandemic hit, Shelter for All adopted protocols to keep the residents safe. We test, use masks, and avoid gatherings. Our social events are now online except for one recent event: Shelter for All had a baby boy born into our program and he turned 1 y.o.a. In October, we had a drive or walk by birthday party for him. Our weekly mentor meetings are now via Zoom as are our initial intake interviews for new residents. We have configured the office so that we can have safe, in- person interviews for the final intake interview.
Shelter for All survived this very challenging period and we are excited to move forward with our transformative program to house the homeless. We have recently started interviewing potential residents and are readying apartments for them. As we house more of the homeless we will be affording them emotional and mental health professional services, job support, life skills training, and weekly mentoring, services that sets Shelter for All apart. Most importantly Shelter for All is permanent, not transitional, housing. We rely on your generous donations to continue and grow Shelter for All; please consider donating now.