Covid-19 forced DuPagePads to meet its mission differently; the organization has provided a hotel model of interim housing to provide a secure room at several area hotels, including two in Downers Grove. Since March 2020, more than 430 individuals, including 130 children, were provided temporary housing through this program. Purchasing and repurposing the facility will ensure that the region’s social safety net will remain resilient throughout the duration of the pandemic and future public health challenges.
Compared to baseline operations, providing clients with a private and secure space to temporarily house themselves and their family members has produced tremendous results. DuPagePads has observed the following changes:
- An 80% reduction in mental health incidents and requests for assistance;
- A 75% reduction in the spread of health conditions such as flu, respiratory illness, or other physical health issues; and
- A 500% increase in the utilization of case support services by clients.
DuPagePads will prioritize rooms at the Interim Housing Center for families with children, individuals with mobility issues, and those fleeing domestic violence. Historically, parents who are experiencing homelessness can be reluctant to utilize congregant shelter because they lack privacy, stability, and space for families to call their own. The facility will fill the gap and provide individuals and children with dignity, security, privacy, and on-site supportive services to help them on their journey to a permanent home of their own.
Under the hotel model of interim sheltering, clients and their families may stay at the property for as little as 24 hours, but in other cases, a client may be housed for several weeks at the center until an appropriate and stable permanent housing option is secured. During their stay at the Interim Housing Center, clients will be in regular contact with DuPagePads staff and utilize a suite of services and casework available to them. Clients must be pre-qualified at another facility before checking into the center.