Your contribution helps us pay for the nutritious food, drinks and supplies at the hospitality center, warming centers, and soup kitchens. Additional support goes toward events that promote interfaith dialogue…

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We express our shared values through direct services, including soup kitchens, warming centers, an emergency overnight shelter, a hospitality center, free fresh produce distribution in partnership with The Great Chicago Food Depository’s Producemobile.

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The Education & Advocacy Committee monitors local and national initiatives impacting hunger and homelessness, and recommends political actions for contacting legislators and policymakers. Public Gatherings provide a venue for volunteers, supporters and others who care about ending hunger and homelessness.

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Get Involved

Interfaith Action of Evanston is able to provide services to its hungry or homeless guests only with the support of its volunteers. There are both individuals and teams of volunteers that serve at the sites for the hospitality center, warming centers, soup kitchens, and the Producemobile.

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W4W A Success!

A community of care emerged in Evanston on January 17th, as almost 600 people turned out to walk in sub-freezing temperatures to raise money for those experiencing homelessness and hunger and to honor the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Interfaith Action of Evanston’s third annual Walk for Warmth generated more than $35,000 to support programs that provide warm spaces for those in need, including the Emergency Overnight Shelter, the Warming Center, and the Hospitality Center, as well as daily soup kitchens.

“We were blown away by the response,” says Anne Heinz, who originated the idea for the walk and chairs its organizing committee. “Two years ago, we had 250 people and that seemed amazing. It’s wonderful to see a community come together in concern for the people for whom Dr. King was most concerned.”

Setting the pace were a Leadership Team of Interfaith Action President Melissa Appelt, the Rev. Michael Nabors, Evanston NAACP and Senior Pastor, Second Baptist Church; Mayor Daniel Biss; City Council member Eleanor Revelle, and Evanston Community Foundation President and CEO Sol Anderson, while other community leaders followed, including Acting City Manager Kelley Gandurski, City Council members Clare Kelly, Melissa Wynne, Jonathan Nieuwsma, and Peter Braithwaite as well as Evanston Police Department Interim Chief Rich Eddington, and Kimberly Krull, Division Chief, Evanston Fire Department.

“We are so grateful to all who came out or donated,” Appelt commented. “We are also very appreciative of the Evanston Police Department, which did a wonderful job, enabling us to move safely through downtown in view of many of the sites where our programs are offered.” Donations to Walk for Warmth will be accepted through January 31. You can donate here.

Walk for Warmth 2022 also generated significant local press coverage, boosting awareness of the ongoing challenges Evanston faces to care for those who lack secure sources of food and housing. You can read some of that coverage here:

A group from Second Baptist Church begins the two-mile Walk for Warmth on the holiday honoring Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Forty
faith communities participated.

Ariana Alber, from left, walks along Ridge Avenue with her mother, Sheri Alber and Karen Davis, all of Lake Street Church.

The annual Walk for Warmth passes through Raymond Park on Monday,
Jan. 17, 2022.

Northwestern News Network video coverage.


Hospitality Center

  • Open 260 days, IAE’s Hospitality Center (HC) hosted 4,828 visits by 975 guests, with the help of 1,560 volunteers.
  • HC guests took advantage of the Center’s special services as follows:
    • Computer Training: 1,358 visits by 346 guests across 239 days
    • Employment Options: 242 visits by 110 guests across 184 days

Emergency Overnight Shelter

  • Open for 140 nights during the cold weather season, November 2020-March 2021, the emergency overnight shelter hosted 2,305 guests; 1,760 were men, and 544 were women. 
  • The shelters were hosted by six faith communities in the downtown Evanston area for two-three weeks each: Beth Emet the Free Synagogue, First United Methodist Church, First Congregational Church, St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, and the Unitarian Church of Evanston.

Warming Center

  • With stores and libraries closed for the pandemic, IAE consolidated and expanded its Warming Center hours in 2021. Held at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, the Warming Center opened for 76 days and served 1,281 guests, including 976 men and 305 women.


  • The Producemobile supplied more than 57 tons or 114,951 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables to 8,425 people. This activity is made possible by our partnership with the Chicago Food Depository, the City of Evanston, and the 451 volunteers who distribute it each month.  Additionally, the new SNAPGap initiative distributed approximately 6,580 cleaning and hygiene items such as laundry soap, hand soap, toilet paper, toothpaste, shampoo, etc., donated primarily by IAE’s faith community members.  

Soup Kitchens

  • Evanston Soup Kitchens worked together to ensure continuity for our homeless and hungry neighbors. Despite the pandemic, Soup Kitchens continued to operate, purchasing meals from local restaurants that were distributed rather than consumed on site due to COVID regulations.  

Thanks to all who made it happen!!!

Be part of the 3rd Annual Walk for Warmth!

How you can participate:

  • Walk with us! Register to Walk. Join us for Interfaith Action of Evanston’s Walk for Warmth in honor of Martin Luther King Jr.’s Day of Service. There is no charge to register for the walk, but registration is required. Advance registration is greatly appreciated as it will help get the walk started on time. The 2-mile walk through central Evanston starts at 11 AM at First United Methodist Church at 516 Church St. in downtown Evanston. Free parking is available at the public garage on Church St. just east of Chicago Ave. Join us to raise awareness of homelessness and hunger in Evanston. Bring the family. Invite your friends and neighbors.
  • Sponsor a walker! Donate Online. Make a monetary donation and join Interfaith Action in fighting hunger and homelessness. Interfaith Action’s shelters provide safe and warm spaces, food and services for anyone in need. Your donation of any amount is greatly appreciated. You may Donate Online, or send a check to Interfaith Action of Evanston, PO Box 1414, Evanston, IL 60204. Write “Walk for Warmth-(your group or team name)” in the memo line on the check. Thanks.