What Journeys does
Journeys: The Road Home provides both shelter and social services to the homeless and those at risk of becoming homeless in 37 communities in North and Northwest suburban Cook County.
Its numbers are growing. Last year, the agency served more than 1,000 people, across its service area. Of those, they say nearly one-third were from the Palatine and Arlington Heights areas.
Journeys' mission is to individually assess and serve its clients, while broadening community awareness and involvement.
For starters, Journeys is the sole emergency shelter provider making these kinds of comprehensive clinical services available in the Northwest and Northern suburbs. The agency partners with more than 20 faith communities to host emergency shelter, or PADS, program sites, where guests receive food, clothing, a place to sleep and respite from the realities of homelessness.
Journeys provides its services for free, and in turn, offset costs typically absorbed by hospitals, municipalities, and legal systems.
Officials say the face of homelessness has changed. They point to financial instability now affecting a wider segment of the population.
Consequently, Journeys' approach is to empower people to reach their full potential by breaking barriers and promoting healthier, happier lifestyles with the clients they serve, of whom more than half are women and children experiencing a housing crisis.
The agency connects people to critical services including emergency shelter, affordable housing, showers, clothing, ongoing food and welfare assistance, long-term case management and transportation vouchers, among a multitude of other resources.
According to the Brookings Institute, there are now more people living in poverty in suburban contexts outside of major metropolitan areas than there are people living in poverty in big cities, including Chicago.