More powerful together: Virtual Superhero 5K supports JOURNEYS | The Road Home
Home. Just the word can evoke thoughts of warmth, shelter and family. But for people who are homeless, or at risk of becoming so, it can mean stress, panic, fear.
JOURNEYS | The Road Home, based in Palatine, works to make sure that people who need shelter have a place to go through a variety of programs, including job counseling, mental health services and legal referrals.
In order to keep these services going, JOURNEYS is holding its Virtual Superhero 5K Run/Walk June 20 to July 12.
We spoke with Ellen Prather, development associate with JOURNEYS | The Road Home, about the event and the organization it helps.
Q: What is JOURNEYS | The Road Home? Give a brief overview of what the organization does and who you serve.
A: JOURNEYS | The Road Home is a nonprofit agency that provides shelter, social services and housing to the homeless and those at-risk of becoming homeless in 37 towns in North/Northwest suburban Cook County.
Q: Where do the majority of your donations come from?
A: Support for JOURNEYS comes from diverse funding streams such as individuals, foundations, faith communities, corporate and corporate matching, local government, United Way, service clubs and school fundraisers.
Q: How many people per year do you serve?
A: Last year, the HOPE Center helped almost 900 people with housing concerns.
Q: What are some of your programs?
A: The agency consists of the PADS Shelter Program, the HOPE Center Supportive Services Program and the Pathways Housing Readiness Program, all focused on assisting those in need.
Throughout the pandemic, JOURNEYS continues to offer all services listed below to those in need, on an appointment based schedule.
Services include case management, job counseling, mental health counseling and housing counseling, as well as health care and legal referrals. The HOPE Center is also where people register to use emergency shelters in the area.
A Family Nurse Practitioner offers free health care on Thursdays, including help accessing prescriptions. Last year, the HOPE Center helped almost 900 people with housing concerns.
The shortage of affordable housing in Northwest suburban Cook County was the driving force behind the creation of the JOURNEYS Pathways Housing Readiness Program. The program offers hope for someone ready to move out of homelessness, preparing them to become housing ready while providing referrals and placement.
Once clients are housed, the clinical team provides them with the necessary support and counseling for housing stability and to support clients as they reach their goals.
Q: Tell us about the virtual Superhero 5K. How does it work?
A: JOURNEYS will be hosting a Virtual Superhero 5K Run/Walk June 20 to July 12. The Superhero 5K run/walk can be completed in your own neighborhood, on your favorite running trail, at the park or even on the treadmill.
Q: How can people participate?
A: People can register anytime between now and up to the last day of the event, July 12. Register at runsignup.com/Race/IL/AnyTown/JOURNEYSSuperhero5K and choose from three different race options:
• A traditional 5K option that will include race swag and the opportunity to upload your run time on the race website. The race needs to be completed in one day. Donation is $40.
• A simple 5K run/walk option with a donation of $20.
• A one-mile fun run/walk event with added scavenger hunt challenges. Scavenger hunt details will be listed June 19. Donation is $20.
• Or by becoming a sponsor. Sponsorship information can be found on the JOURNEYS website, journeystheroadhome.org/superhero-5k.html.
Post your superhero costumes, pictures and achievement to the JOURNEYS Superhero Facebook group.
Tag your photos on Instagram and Facebook with #JourneysSuperhero5k.
Q: How can readers help if they can't participate in the event?
A: People can help by sharing the word about the event on their social media pages. No matter where someone lives, anyone can participate in the virtual event.
Q: What else would you like readers to know?
A: This important fundraising event is needed now more than ever as we face extraordinary and unprecedented costs in keeping our clients safe and healthy during this pandemic.
JOURNEYS was one of the first homeless organizations in the region to move clients into local hotels to allow them to safely shelter in place and limit their exposure to the COVID-19 virus.
JOURNEYS continues to shelter clients in hotels throughout the month of June. The financial impact that this will have on JOURNEYS will be great, but this is the best plan of action to keep JOURNEYS clients safe and healthy.
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Virtual Superhero 5K Run/Walk
Who: JOURNEYS | The Road Home
When: June 20 to July 12
Cost: Three options:
• Traditional 5K including race swag and the opportunity to upload your run time on the race website; $40
• A simple 5K run/walk; $20
• A one-mile fun run/walk event with added scavenger hunt challenges. Scavenger hunt details will be listed June 19; $20
To register: journeystheroadhome.org/superhero-5k