At Issue: Hotel Stays Bring Positive Long-Term Housing For People Experiencing Homelessness In DuPage County


CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- COVID-19 has forced suburban advocates for people experiencing homelessness to switch gears in ways they help, with some possibly surprising results.For more than three decades, DuPage PADS has worked with several local churches to provide overnight shelter for people who need it. But April Redzic, the new President and CEO of the organization, said the coronavirus pandemic has forced them to change that model with church support.

DuPage PADS had to change its program of providing overnight shelter to the homeless at churches around the county. No social distancing or protective equipment really practical. Redzic said they are now using hotel rooms.

"When COVID started out, we had about 140 individuals who needed a place to stay so we moved them (into) 100 units of hotel rooms and we are now down to 68 because the other ones have been able to move into a more stable environment," Redzic said.Although it’s more expensive, she said that with people stable in hotels, caseworkers have been able to better help clients and find long-term housing for them. Caseworkers have found better situations for nearly three dozen people and the number of people being shelter has dropped, she said.

April Redzic is the guest on "At Issue," which airs 9:30 a.m. and 9:30 p.m. Sunday.