Shepherd's Hope provides food to 5,000 local residents every week.
With Thanksgiving only three weeks away, we are entering a season of gratitude and service. Many of us are stepping up our efforts to volunteer, donate and help make this a better holiday season for the many people—far too many—who find themselves in need. Shepherd's Hope in a Chicago neighborhood known as Englewood, is doing just that.
A significant point on the map of Chicago's South Side, Englewood is one of the most historic and well-known Chicago neighborhoods. Once a site of busy shopping districts and a central intersection for railway systems, Englewood has undergone significant transformation over the years and continues to be a focus of new renovation and revitalization projects. The neighborhood is a proud and historic one, having produced more than a few of Chicago's most celebrated artists and community leaders, and sheltering several hidden gems within the city.
In the past eight months, six food distribution sites in surrounding neighborhoods have closed. Shepherd's Hope has been able to stay open and even expand because of the strong community support and a long list of regular and committed volunteers. Food donations have increased, even gourmet food donations from nearby airport restaurants that would otherwise go to waste.
Earlier this year, Self-Help was able to provide a loan to Shepherd’s Hope to enable continued neighborhood services in a 50,000 square-foot building they purchased in 2018 from the Chicago Public School District.The building has 27 classrooms that serve a variety of purposes, plus a kitchen and dining room, a library, a 340-seat auditorium and a gymnasium.
Community services provided by Shepherd’s Hope include:
- Food for 5,000 people per week (food pantry and soup kitchen)
- Clothes, coats and gloves for 500 people per year
- Medical assistance for 60 people/week
- Free legal aid for 30 people per week
- Daycare for 20 children/day
- Educational assistance for 80 students per day
- After school programs for 250 students per day 4 days/week
- Basketball camps and clinics for 50 youth weekly
- Over 100 attend church services and 50 attend weekly Bible studies
- Friday Night Life events for youth (motivational speakers and movies)
- Full-service vision clinic including free glasses
We thank you, Shepherd’s Hope, for inspiring us every single day with your dreams, hard work and never-give-up spirit.
* * *
Micheline Savarin is the Director of Marketing & Communications for Self-Help Federal Credit Union.