Mayor Rahm Emanuel joined representatives from The Salvation Army recently to break ground on Chicago’s first emergency intake center. The ‘Shield of Hope’ Center will incorporate best practices in homeless services to provide homeless families awaiting long- term shelter with the resources and support they need to transition to permanent housing.
“The City of Chicago stands firm on our commitment to providing shelter and services to those in need, so that no family is forced to sleep on the streets,” said Mayor Emanuel. “Every family should have a roof over their head, and every child deserves a safe space to call home. Thanks to our partnership with the Salvation Army, we will create an innovative triage response system that prevents homelessness whenever possible by connecting our families with the care they need to return to housing and stability.”
When completed, the Shield of Hope Center will specialize in triage services for families experiencing homelessness and incorporate the most up-to-date practices for both service procedures and physical design. The center will provide families with meals, showers, and play space for children. Staff will also be working with families to address and resolve the issues that led to their need to seek shelter.
“There is a reason this new building is called the Shield of Hope. Along with the City of Chicago, we are meeting families when they are most vulnerable and filled with fear,” said Lt. Col Charles Smith. “Not only will we provide a safe and welcoming environment for families to live during emergencies, we will help them restart their lives.”
The new Shield of Hope Center, located at 910 N. Christiana Avenue in the West Humboldt Park neighborhood, will sit directly across from The Salvation Army’s Freedom Center providing greater access to resources.
Construction on the new center is expected to be completed next year and provide families with features that include 20 bedrooms with private bathrooms, the ability to shelter up to 75 family members, the ability to accommodate 55 emergency overflow beds, a laundry room and cafeteria, and counseling and support services.
The Center is the latest in a series of initiatives by Mayor Emanuel to address homelessness and delivers on a central component of the Mayor’s “Plan 2.0: A Home for Everyone,” a broad-ranging, seven-year action plan that reaffirms and builds on the core tenets outlined in Chicago’s original plan to end homelessness.
For more information on The Salvation new emergency homeless shelter, visit Shield of Hope. To request city services visit, www.cityofchicago.org or call 311.