CHICAGO (CBS) — The Uptown Men’s Shelter held Thursday an open house after running short on money and almost closing permanently late last year.
The shelter was close to shutting its doors two days before Christmas 2016, but thanks to a couple major benefactors, the shelter is able to survive and remain open.
Most of the money came from the Logan Foundation and from Bridgeview Bank.
“This event will give us an opportunity to thank our friends and supporters and to showcase major renovations that were undertaken since the holidays,” said Richard Ducatenzeiler, Executive Director of North Side Housing and Supportive Services, a non-profit social services organization that operates the Uptown Men’s Shelter, in a statement.
The Uptown Men’s Shelter has stayed open during its struggling times in the basement of the Peoples Church on Lawrence. WBBM’s Steve Miller reports.
“I eat, sleep, play cards and laugh.”
49-year-old Mike Greer is from New York. He’s lived in the shelter for two-and-a-half months.
“The first two days were kind of rough,” Greer said. “Because you didn’t know what you were going to go through.”
Greer has one of 72 places the shelter offers. It’s different from many other shelters because it doesn’t kick people out in the morning. Guests can come and go during the day.
Greer not only sleeps there, as others do on a mat on the floor, but he works in the kitchen.
“I like it because my grandmama told me one time that I’d be feeding a lot of people like this one day,” Greer said. “Every time I stand behind that table and feed people, my heart goes out, you know?”