Lincoln Park Community Services: 2018-2019

Lincoln Park Community Services brings communities together to empower individuals facing homelessness and poverty to secure stable housing and make sustainable life changes. Since opening its doors in 1985, LPCS has changed from a place serving people in need of a hot meal and a place to sleep, to a place that offers comprehensive social services and programs that address the challenges of homelessness and increases self-sufficiency. LPCS offers interim housing, permanent supportive housing, and continues to provide basic support services for those experiencing homelessness. Within their interim housing program, guests are paired with a case manager who assists them in achieving their individual goals in one of three tracks (Track 1: Addiction Recovery, Track 2: Mental and Physical Health, Track 3: Employment and Education). In June of 2019, LPCS opened its second facility at 1521 N Sedgwick, which allowed them to increase interim housing capacity by 37%, provide an additional 20 on-site subsidized permanent supportive housing apartments, and enhance programs and services. LPCA now has the capacity to house 120 individuals facing homelessness every night.

LPCS is primarily privately funded, supported largely by community donations. Volunteers are truly the lifeline of the organization. LPCS relies on a network of over 2,000 annual volunteers that support them in a variety of roles every day from daily operations to meal preparations to education for guests across two locations providing interim housing.

For over 10 years, volunteer Nurse Mary DeCresce has been providing care and resources to keep Guests healthy. Nurse Mary’s primary directive is to connect with, monitor and teach Guests regarding specific health concerns and overall wellness. In her efforts to bridge the gap between Guests and medical knowledge, she has taught classes, uncovered medical needs of Guests, and created an open communication with Guests and their case managers alike. In addition, Nurse Mary provides over-the-counter medication, physician referrals, and general wellness checks.  The Washington Square Health Foundation “1521 Health Initiative” Grant awarded to LPCS allowed them to stock Nurse Mary’s office with necessary tools and supplies to treat Guests, furthering the holistic approach to empower sustainable life changes. Giving Guests access to a medical professional allows them to stay healthy and focus on their housing goals. In 2020, LPCS’ year focused on strengthening and maximizing impact.  They intend to continue their long-standing partnership with Nurse Mary, while also building new partnerships with healthcare and mental health organizations to provide further healthcare services to Guests. LPCS will utilize the space furnished by Washington Square Health Foundation to provide all of these services.