Sixty people attended a homeless service Sunday in downtown Joliet to honor State Rep. Emily McAsey (D-Romeoville) and State Rep. Lawrence Walsh, Jr. (D-Joliet) and State Sen. Pat McGuire (D-Crest Hill). The program was hosted by a member of the CCH statewide network — Second Chance Church of Joliet — and CCH’s downstate organizer, Jim Picchetti.
About half of the participants were homeless families who are living in Will County shelters or sleeping on the street.
The legislators was presented with a painting designed by members of the church, and a certificate thanking them for voting last May to restore state funds for emergency shelters and safety net programs. After receiving their gifts, the legislators thanked the audience for their work to serve people experiencing homelessness, encouraging everyone to continue to inform them about homeless issues.
During the service, Jane Tyschenko, Assistant Director of Catholic Charities Daybreak Center explained that “individuals born and raised here cannot afford, or struggle to live here, living check to check. They are our friends, our family, co-workers, and our neighbors. Fortunately for them Homeless Prevention funds were available and they were able to catch up with their mortgages. They are still in their home to this day.”
Daybreak Center is the largest emergency shelter in Will County, providing 32,000 nights of shelter to 1,000 homeless people a year, including more than 200 children under the age of 12.
During the summer, Second Chance Church holds a bi-weekly service for people experiencing homelessness at Van Buren Street and Chicago Avenue in downtown Joliet.
– Jim Picchetti, Statewide Organizer