Donate

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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Services

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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Advocacy

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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Dialogue

By creating safe spaces for peaceful non-confrontational dialogue, Interfaith Action of Evanston brings people together to build relationships and understanding across faith boundaries. We continue to learn from each other by exploring the varied traditions and beliefs that make up the diverse community in which we live and serve.

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Spring Fundraiser: Online Soup Kitchen Social

Interfaith Action successfully staged its first-ever virtual fundraiser on May 30th as “Keep the Doors Open” took place on Zoom. This Online Soup Kitchen Social raised more than $14,000 from 120 ticket purchasers and 80 separate donations and will enable the purchase of more than 2,000 soup kitchen carryout meals.

Those attending picked up their own carryout brown bag meals, similar to actual meals currently being distributed by the Interfaith Action soup kitchens, and then returned home to view the evening program on Zoom. That program began with a photo montage of recent Interfaith Action events, followed by greetings and a series of presentations from Board Member Mildred Carter, Executive Director Sue Murphy, Board President Anne Heinz and former Board President Birch Burghardt. Attendees then moved to virtual breakout rooms for guided small group discussions. Thanks to all who helped make the spring fundraiser a success!

Two Monthly Producemobiles!

**Producemobiles: July 14 & 28, August 11 & 25 9:30-10:30 AM, James Park, 300 Dodge.**

Future:  September 8 & 22,  LOCATION TBA, 9:30-10:30AM**

The Greater Chicago Food Depository and Interfaith Action will have Producemobile distributions on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of every month through September. Starting in October, the Producemobile distribution will occur on the 2nd Tuesday of the month.

Because of COVID and the construction at Robert Crown Community Center, the Producemobile has temporarily moved to the parking lot at Levy Center. All volunteers and guests must wear masks and maintain social distancing. On June 9th, our volunteers handed out 740 prepacked boxes of high-quality dairy, fresh produce, and frozen pre-cooked meat. ON that day, a total of 18,160 lbs was distributed to 290 guests with 1083 members in their households.

AE is piloting a new program called SNAPGap, which provides an item like bars of soap or toothpaste at the second Tuesday Producemobiles.

We still need volunteers to help distribute all of these items and to help direct traffic. The City of Evanston Parking Services will be at the Producemobile on June 23rd at 8 AM to train volunteers to do this. If you are interested in being trained, please contact Mary Beth at mbc.roth@comcast.net.

Flyer in English & Spanish

IAE’s Work to Support Homeless and Hungry Continues

Interfaith Action of Evanston is still on the front lines of service to the homeless and hungry, working in partnership with the city, faith communities, and other organizations to ensure the health and safety of those who don’t have homes or are food-insecure. 

There have been major successes on that front, reports IAE Executive Director Sue Murphy, but there also continue to be challenges, particularly around food supplies. 

On the housing front, the city of Evanston has been able to secure hotel rooms for many of those lacking housing, and Connections for the Homeless has opened another space in addition to the hotels, increasing the number of beds available every night.

“This has been such a blessing for our clients,” Murphy says, recalling the emotional reaction of two women upon getting a room. One was moved to tears after spending her nights on the train and another said she felt she Like a princess in her hotel room.”

IAE is working in partnership with Connections, helping identify those still in need of housing, says Murphy, who is a member of the Mayor’s Corona Virus Task Force and also liaises regularly with the Evanston Interfaith Clergy and Leaders on needed actions. 

 “Our Hospitality Center is still open from 7 am to 11 am at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, and they have given us an extra room so we can make sure we can keep people apart,” Murphy says. “We have been getting about 20 people per day. Our guests have been great and the volunteers are wonderful.”

Some of the folks coming to the hospitality center are newly experiencing homelessness or don’t have a current tie to Connections.  Working with them at the Hospitality Center enables Murphy to establish or re-establish those ties so that Connections’ staff can pursue housing options during the current pandemic. 

“We will be open as long as there are people who need a place to go and we are working with Connections to make it more efficient,” Murphy says. She continues to offer support as well to IAE’s long-standing clients and to support the Connections’ staff where she can. 

Perhaps the biggest ongoing challenge is food insecurity, which IAE addresses through its multiple soup kitchens. Those efforts are being challenged, since the churches that host them are largely closed and can’t allow folks to gather in their spaces. As a result, many soup kitchen groups are ordering meals from local restaurants that can be handed out at the door to those in need, Murphy says. 

One positive note on the soup kitchen front: The current crisis has brought all the Evanston soup kitchens together to coordinate efforts, including sharing information about restaurants offering the best deals on prepared meals, Murphy notes. 

“This is something I’ve wanted to happen for a while,” she comments. 

IAE has also contributed some of its Emergency Overnight Shelter gear – such as cots and bedding– to the new shelter sites being operated by Connections. 

Interfaith Action of Evanston continues to need volunteers for its Hospitality Center, especially since many of the regular volunteers are retired individuals who are at greater risk in a time of pandemic and can no longer participate. Contact us via email if interested.  Help is also needed for the Producemobile on the morning of April 14.  Email ia@interfaithactionofevanston if interested. The organization also seeks ongoing financial support and has an Amazon Wish List on its website, www.interfaithactionofevanston.org.

We are asking for Help!

We have a special request.

Interfaith Action of Evanston needs “door greeter” volunteers for the morning Hospitality Center, a place where those who are homeless can receive food and services.

Located at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 1509 Ridge Ave. Guests receive breakfast and a safe place to relax or sleep. Job counselors provide advice, encouragement and workshops for guests seeking employment. Computer trainers assist with online applications and resumes.

Door greeters sit in specific locations to ensure that guests remain in designated areas. Depending on where you are sitting, close interaction is minimal. If you are positioned by the entrance/exit, you will be asking guests to sign out when leaving, so there is some interaction there. Time slots for volunteers are from 7am – 9am and 9am – 11:05am. M-F

Many of our volunteers have been with us for years and are over the age of 60. Understandably, some are not comfortable volunteering during this time.

We are looking for youngish people (18+) to help us out. The position responsibilities are minimal and you are welcome to bring a book or electronic device. Feel free to pass this info on! If interested, email us at ia@interfaithactionofevanston.org