Weather relief programs, shelters open during the winter


Illustration by Cate Rose

During the cold winter weather, homeless Evanston residents can access shelter services and other amenities around the city.

Astry Rodriguez, Senior Staffer

Evanston’s weather relief programs and local centers are ready to help housing insecure Evanston residents. The Daily made a list of the resources and necessities available for this winter.

Interfaith Action of Evanston

1509 Ridge Ave.

Monday through Friday, 7 to 11 a.m. 

Interfaith Action of Evanston — a community service religious organization — has a hospitality center at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church that’s run by organization staff and volunteers. The center provides breakfast along with services like computer training and job counseling. 

“Even if we have 50-degree weather, we’re open,” Executive Director Susan Murphy said. 

Interfaith Action also runs a winter warming Overnight Shelter that provides cots and blankets during homeless residents’ stays. The shelter moves to a new faith location every three weeks, Murphy said. The shelter will remain open until the end of May.

Hilda’s Place

1458 Chicago Ave.  

Monday through Friday (except Wednesday afternoons), 9 to 11 a.m. and 12 to 2 p.m.

Connections for the Homeless — a social services organization for homelessness prevention, emergency shelter and housing financial assistance — operates the drop-in center at Hilda’s Place. Connections also runs the Overnight Shelter in conjunction with Interfaith Action. Both Hilda’s Place and Connections’ main office provide basic necessities for those with a physical disability or that are housed, including showers, food and clothes.

Like Interfaith Action, Hilda’s Place provides a warming center, open Saturday and Sunday morning with breakfast available.

Murphy said she worked alongside the city to keep the community centers open even during the holiday season, and the city provided homeless residents transportation to the overnight shelter. 

“Audrey Thompson with the Parks (and Recreations) Department, worked with me and she was amazing,” Murphy said. “If there’s extreme weather again, or things close again, we’ll work together to make sure that people have a place to go.”

City of Evanston Warming Centers

1801 Main St. 

Wednesday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday, 6 a.m. to 5 p.m.

1655 Foster St

Wednesday and Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday, 8:30 to 5 p.m. 

The city offers two warming centers located at the Robert Crown Community Center and Fleetwood-Jourdain Community Center. 

Sarah’s Circle

4838 N Sheridan Rd.  

Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Sarah’s Circle is an organization aimed at ending homelessness for women. The organization has a Daytime Support Center that serves as a safe space and resource center for basic necessities such as a shower, laundry and food. The center also provides educational programming and case management for women finding permanent housing. While it is a Chicago-based organization, its drop-in service is available to Evanston residents.

YWCA Evanston/North Shore

1215 Church St.  

Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

YWCA Evanston/North Shore is a partner facility with Mary Lou’s Place, providing an emergency shelter for survivors of domestic violence receive economic stability and resources. The shelter also provides crisis intervention and necessities such as private rooms with clothes, beds and personal supplies. The facility operates through intakes instead of on a drop-in basis, and a 24/7 emergency center hotline is available at 877-718-1868.

“We also offer some work training programs that are available to the shelter members,” staff member Colin Sellers said.

Reba Place Development Corporation

737 Reba Pl.

Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Reba Place Development Corporation, formerly known as the Evanston Community Development Association, provides affordable housing and mortgage and rental assistance to low-income families. The organization manages three properties — one of which is a 25-unit rental property it owns.

The institution also provides homeless residents their first month’s rent or security deposit through resources from the city and community faith-based groups. 

Corporation Executive Director Keith Banks said housing must be made affordable because that is what forces people out on the streets — especially during the “brutally cold” winter months. 

“If some vacant or abandoned buildings can be converted into shelters during the winter months, that would be helpful,” Banks said. “Everyone needs a place to lay their head and have a warm, decent, safe place to stay.”

Clarification: This story has been updated to more accurately reflect Hilda’s Place and Connections for the Homeless’ involvement in the Overnight Shelter.

Email: [email protected] 

Twitter: @Astry_tpwk

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