Who: 200+ suburban clergy and homeless advocates
What: State budget protest and prayer vigil in Aurora
When: Wednesday, June 24, at 7 p.m.
Where: The parking lot by Hesed House, 659 S. River Street in Aurora
More than 200 clergy, homeless and community advocates from churches, small businesses, and organizations in St. Charles, Aurora, Bolingbrook and Romeoville will hold a prayer vigil to protest the lack of a state budget, and the impact it will have on homeless and social services in Kane County.
On July 1, if a state budget and revenue are not agreed upon by Gov. Rauner and the General Assembly, all agencies receiving state funds will see payments greatly delayed or suspended as a result of a state government shutdown.
“For many homeless children and families in Aurora, after exhausting housing options with friends and family, Hesed House is the last stop you make before living on the street,” said Neil McMenamin, Hesed’s associate director. “If a budget resolution is not agreed on soon, we have some reserves to keep operating for a short time, but other domestic violence shelters, drug treatment and health care programs in Kane County are not that lucky. The safety net here is frail and we need revenue to keep it whole.”
Hesed House is the second largest emergency shelter in Illinois, serving 150 to 200 homeless children and adults each night.
Hesed House also provides affordable housing and counseling services to 50 adults and families facing mental illness or substance abuse issues. It also distributes homeless prevention grants in Kane County, one-time state grants that help struggling families stay in apartments or homes.
Participating groups include Alpha Missionary Baptist Church, Breaking Free, Chicago Coalition for the Homeless (CCH), Crossover Running, Hesed House, Jimi Allen Productions, Love Fellowship Church, St. Charles Episcopal Church, Seeds of Nations International, and St. Mary’s Catholic Church.
For more information, contact CCH’s Statewide Network through community organizer Jim Picchetti.