BEDS Plus opens doors to people in need

Isabel Tuisl, Reporter

BEDS Plus is starting off the new year with a multitude of events and developments to the nonprofit organization. With the recent building of the La Grange shelter, process for the acceptance of applications, Soup and Bread event and $24,000 grant received from Baird and Warner Real Estate, BEDS has a busy schedule.

The La Grange shelter is located at 9601 W. Ogden Ave., and the construction is currently progressing.

BEDS began accepting applications on Jan. 9 at 10 a.m., April Hill, Community Relations Manager at BEDS said.

“We are accepting applications for our supportive housing, which is a new facility that we’re really excited about,” Hill said. “It is a three-unit facility. The first floor is our operation and support center, and the second and third floors have our permanent housing, so we are accepting applications for our clients who are homeless.”

The agency is also holding its sixth annual Soup and Bread event on Jan. 28 from 3-7 p.m. at Holiday Inn William Tell Banquets.

“I think that it’s important to give back to your community, and to help others that may have hit an obstacle in their lives. It is also great to work with such a great team of men and women, especially for such an amazing cause,” a volunteer for the Soup and Bread Event Planning Committee, Andrea Krieg said.

The fundraiser is sponsored by 16 restaurants that donate 10 gallons of soup each, and bakeries that donate desserts, Hill said.

“Restaurants in La Grange that are participating include Palmer’s Place, Blueberry Hill and Prasino,” Hill said. “It is a family-friendly event, with all ages to enjoy themselves. Five bands also perform a concert at the event.”

The $24,000 grant was a gift in November from Baird and Warner, which is a company that Tom Hinshaw, mayor of The Village of Indian Head Park, works at, he said. Hinshaw started out as a volunteer at BEDS during the night shifts. He then started fundraisers like Buzz for BEDS at Highlands Middle School to obtain money for the organization.

“I think [we] are very fortunate that we have a house with heat and food in the refrigerator, and we can go home and enjoy these things, and when you don’t have a home to go to, it’s really sad. So the shelters have helped a lot of people over the years and thankfully they’re in our neighborhood,” Hinshaw said.

With the new facility on Ogden Avenue, there will be a lot of costs with that shelter including constructing and furnishing it, and acquiring a staff for it, he said.

The grant is also going to be used for BEDS’ emergency shelters, Hill said.

“We have eight emergency shelters in the La Grange area,” she said. “The money will go to those shelters and provide them with services like food and bedding.”

The shelter helps the people in the community by providing food and clothes, and help finding apartments and jobs, Hill said. They work with landlords, and assist them in any ways that they can by granting the resources that they need.