The DuPage Unitarian Universalist Church exists as a beacon of liberal religious thought and practice. Amid the challenges and changes of a chaotic world, we aspire to proclaim and embody the possibilities of meaning in human life, of freedom in human thought, and of peace and justice in human community.

Monday, April 29, 2013


Coffee, our final frontier. These are the voyages of the Dupage UU Church.. Its Saturday mission: to explore strange new brews, to seek out new blends, and new percolations, 
to boldly go where no coffee has gone before........

**cue music** 

there will be a 


All are Welcome! 

We have a New Sanctuary!
We have New Water!
and soon we're going to have....


Come to DUUC and for a mere $10 you can decide the bold (or mild, or in-between)  New Future of DUUC coffee!! (Organic Fair Trade Coffee, as always)Spend your morning in the most meaningful way --
Perfecting. The. NEW. Blend. Of. Coffee. That. We. Will. Boldly. Bring. Into. Our. New. Sanctuary! (Thank you William Shatner)

Questions? Brilliant insights? contact our "Bold Barista in Charge" Jill Wallace

Sunday, April 21, 2013

It's so Easy Being Green

Peppers, Peppers! Get your Delicious Peppers here!

To eat, and what to eat: that is question
Whether 'tis nobler in the cart to suffer
The cost and charges of outrageous prices,
Or to take savings with a bunch of imports,
And by purchasing, eat them? To buy: to save;
Non local; and by saving to say we add
Our dependence and the thousand natural shocks
Cheap food is heir to, 'tis a consumption
Devoutly to be shunned. To buy, to chew;
To eat: perchance digest: ay, there's the rub;
Ye Gods! I'm an apple.
For in that cart of foods what fruit may come
When we have shuffled out this grocery store,
Must give us pause: there’s the respect
That makes calamity of such low prices;
For who could bear the costs from wages over time,
The oppressor’s wrong, the proud one’s taunting,
The pangs of despised poultry, the pig’s dismay,
The insolence of aisles and the insults
That the coupons make of thoughtful shoppers
When he himself might his ethics face
And bear his heart with burdens hear
The grunt and sweat under a weary life,
The undiscover’d country from whose bourn
The ill paid worker labours, puzzles the mind
And makes us rather eat the cheap ills we have
Than find the organics that we know not of
Thus Conscience could still make cowards of us all

Just what am I on about now? Food! Glorious Food! No, I will not do a Dickens parody (although I am tempted). I'm here to tell A Tale of Two Greenies. Okay, a tale of one Greenie, a really excellent, organic, sustainable and educational greenie,  namely the Green Earth Institute

We are very fortunate in North America, our dilemma isn't obtaining food, our dilemma is choosing food. 

And, there’s the rub.

Delicious Organic Tomatoes
So how do we choose? Do we get the 99 cents/pound tomatoes that have been grown thousands of miles away, sprayed with chemicals, harvested by poorly paid workers and transported in trucks, *big breath* OR do we put in the extra dollars to get locally grown, organic tomatoes? And, yes, that is a bias you're detecting, you've been warned, read on at your own risk.

An Appealing Eggplant

If you're still reading - excellent choice! - I'm going to assume you are leaning more to the organic, and locally grown food options, so I'm going to tell you about Naperville's own Green Earth Institute. 

Located at 10S404 Knock Knolls Road in Naperville, on The Conservation Foundation's McDonald Farm, the Green Earth Institute is in its 11th year of organic vegetable farming and educational programming for children and adults. It is a non-profit educational organization established in 2002 to promote environmental sustainability and nutritional health. The centrepiece of the organization is the organic vegetable farm that also serves as an outdoor classroom.

So, what can the Green Earth Institute do for you and your family? Let me 'splain... no, is too much, let me sum up....

It can:
  • Supply your family with seasonal, organic, locally grown vegetables and herbs through community-supported agriculture, or CSA. In this program, participants purchase a share of the harvest and then pick up a box of freshly harvested vegetables weekly or biweekly at the farm in Naperville, or in Batavia, Lombard, Western Springs, or Winfield.
  • Educate your children through nature discovery programs at the farm each summer. Elementary age children explore the farm and learn how to garden during week long summer camp sessions of Nature Rangers
  • Educate your whole family with fun and educational adventures on Saturday mornings and Friday overnights. 
  • Host school and Scout groups from the suburbs and the inner-city, providing tours of the farm and showing kids where food comes from and how it is grown - yes carrots do come from underground! 

but wait! there's more!

Green Earth Fair 
  Sunday, May 5th

Be Green in '13!! The annual Earth Day Celebration and Education Event is on the first Sunday in May, and can draw some 2,000 people! There are Speakers, Exhibits, Children's activities, Food, Music, Tours of the Farm, Culinary demonstrations, Plant sales and MORE!! Fun for the Entire Family!


WHAT are these Fresh, Locally Grown, Certified Organic Vegetables and Herbs?
Beets, Bok Choi, Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Celeriac, Chinese Cabbage, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Fennel, Garlic, Garlic Scapes, Hot Peppers, Kale, Kohlrabi, Leeks, Lettuce, Onions, Parsnips, Peas, Potatoes, Radicchio, Radishes, Rutabaga, Scallions, Spinach, Sweet Peppers, Swiss Chard, Summer squash, Tomatoes, Turnips, Watermelons (wait! that's a fruit!), Winter squash, Zucchini, and herbs, Basil, Cilantro, Parsley, Sage and Thyme!
I am a Handsome Cabbage

Need Recipes?  Click here!

HOW many for dinner?
One share is generally good for 2 veggie enthusiasts, or a family of 2 adults and 2 children. You can also purchase 1/2 a share, or split  a full share with a friend.

HOW much each week?
One share is about 3/4 bushel each week, which is about the same as 1 1/2 regular paper grocery bags. Typically there are about 10 different crops each week that change with the harvest.

HOT peppers!
HOW long is the harvest season?
The Main Season runs from June 18th - November 1st, about 20 weeks
Spring Shares run for 4 weeks from May 21st-June 1st 
Late Fall Shares run for 4 weeks from November 5th-27th.

Sign me up! Click here!

WHERE can I get more information?
Artsy Garlic
Green Earth Institute
10S404 Knoch Knolls Road
Naperville, IL 60565

Email: CSA@GreenEarthInstitute.org  Website: www.GreenEarthInstitute.org
Blog: Green Earth Education
Facebook: Green Earth Institute 
Twitter: Green Earth Institute

Lettuce show you how!
Want to Help??

Shareholders and others are invited to visit the farm and help with farm work, such as planting, weeding, and harvesting. Bet you never thought you could do THAT in Naperville. Get connected with nature!! Sign up on our website.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

If you like it, you should put a ring on it....

facebook note by BeyoncĂ©
.... or how painting social media red has shown America's support for marriage equality.

"Mawage. Mawage is wot bwings us togeder tooday. Mawage, that bwessed awangment, that dweam wifin a dweam...And wuv, tru wuv, will fowow you foweva...." The Impressive Clergyman, Princess Bride

Seeing RED

this one's mine

percentage of Facebook Marriage Equality profile pict
Take a look around any social media site and you will see pink and red Equality symbols everywhere. It is a newly created version of the Human Rights Campaign symbol, which is a blue square with yellow equal sign. The new logo, initially created by  Anastasia Khoo, takes that symbol and changes the colours to Red and Pink for love. People got really creative with the concept, George Takei picked it up, and then it went Viral. 

some of the creative marriage equality symbols

While the Supreme Court deliberates on Defence of Marriage Act (DOMA) and Prop 8, millions (approximately 2.7million on Facebook alone) of people are showing their support for marriage equality. 

At last count, there were 13 Members of Congress that have gone red  in the fight for marriage equality, including Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, Senator Elizabeth Warren from Massachusetts, and Representative Dan Kildee of Michigan.

The Tide has Already Turned

"A recent survey by the Pew Research Center shows that nearly half of all Americans now support the legalization of same-sex marriage. The 47% approval rate is a 26-point increase than just a decade ago, and an 8-point increase in the last four years alone.

While the new Millenial voters account for some of the change, opposition to gay marriage has declined in every age group surveyed, including those over 65 years of age.

Among those older participants specifically, opposition has fallen by 18 points.

Americans under 30, who were nearly evenly divided on the issue in 2004 now approve of it by a two-to-one ratio.

There are no divisions when it comes to religion either – Protestants, Catholics, and the unaffiliated alike are also opposed to the idea in decreasing numbers." - Augusta Christensen for Lawsonary

Elected politicians who once pledged to "protect tradition" have lined up eager to announce their support of marriage equality. Republican Senator Rob Portman of Ohio said he changed his mind after learning that his son is gay. Red-state Democrats Claire McCaskill of Missouri and Jon Tester of Montana, also switched, as did Virginia’s Mark Warner. Dick Cheney became vocal about his support of marriage equality for his lesbian daughter, Mary after he was out of the White House. They joined Hillary Clinton and her husband, the former President Bill Clinton, who signed the Defense of Marriage Act into law during his 1996 re-election bid but is now calling on the Supreme Court to undo his mistake.

Add Clint Eastwood to this growing list of Republicans who support gay marriage, although I don't see him adopting a red and pink equality symbol. He told GQ in 2011 that he "doesn’t “give a f*** about who wants to get married to anybody else” and that instead of “all this bulls*** about ‘sanctity,’” we should “just give everybody the chance to have the life they want.” How very Dirty, Harry.

Anne Hathaway, whose older brother Michael is gay, received an award from the HRC in 2008, in her speech she states, “There are people who have said that I'm being brave for being openly supportive of gay marriage, gay adoption, basically of gay rights but with all due respect I humbly dissent, I’m not being brave, I’m being a decent human being....My family and I will help the good fight continue until that long awaited moment arrives, when our rights are equal and when the political limits on love have been smashed.”  More recently she donated a portion of the proceeds from her wedding photos to to non-profits advocating for marriage for same-sex couples.

I couldn't write this blog without including the song that inspired it. Rapper Macklemore and Ryan Lewis' "Same Love". The lyrics and video are both powerful and beautiful, painful and joyous. The video starts with the birth of a child, shows his childhood, adolescence, adulthood and old age, all woven within the notions of love, intolerance,  acceptance and equality. He is born to mixed race parents, a concept that reflects how similar the fight for racial equality is to the fight for marriage equality.

The tide has turned, 
and what seemed impossible only few years ago, is now inevitable.  
Marriage will win. 

America has already decided.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Which voices are you listening to?

If you don’t believe in god, then where do you get your morals from?

It’s the elephant in the room. We can try to avoid it. We can pretend it doesn’t exist. We can tell ourselves “we’ve moved beyond god-bashing.” But in any discussion with traditional theists, if you can’t answer this question then you might as well ask for directions to the local NAMBLA office.

First, what do we mean by morals, and how are they different from ethics? These terms are often used interchangeably, and their meanings may be dependent on context. For now, let’s agree that “ethics” refers to a set of principles, or a logical framework for making decisions about how to behave under given circumstances, while “morals” refers to one’s personal convictions or beliefs about what is right or wrong. For example, a defense attorney may have a personal moral conviction that murder is wrong, but may also have a standard of professional ethics that requires mounting a vigorous defense of a client charged with murder.

Morals, like many human characteristics, vary from person to person. They have both a genetic or “nature” aspect and a learned or “nurture” aspect. They also can be organized hierarchically, similar to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, starting from the more essential moral traits that are required for species survival and building to more sophisticated moral questions that come into play once survival issues have been addressed.
At the base of the hierarchy, the “nature” aspect of morality is a function of biological evolution and survival. For example, most mammals have evolved in such a way that parents care for their offspring from birth until they are able to fend for themselves. Unlike some insects or reptiles which may produce hundreds or thousands of young per parent (who can “afford” to lose a fair number to predators without jeopardizing the species), most mammals produce only a handful or fewer of young per year. Since there are so few offspring per reproductive cycle and the offspring are relatively helpless, mammals have evolved strong parental attachment and nurturing behavior. In humans, this is expressed as the moral value of “motherly love”.

Our innate morality – the “nature” component – is built up from universal, evolutionarily successful traits such as parents caring for their young, close family members not interbreeding, and aversion to harmful foods. These behaviors have become instinctive because they facilitate propagation and survival of the species. Parents that don’t care for their children are less likely to be represented in the gene pool. Incest is considered taboo because of the increased incidence of genetic abnormalities in the resulting offspring.

Once the basic survival of the species has been addressed, the next level of the moral hierarchy is groups. As our species evolved from small packs of hunter gatherers to larger agrarian settlements, cities, and nation states our learned morality – the “nurture” component – has developed to accommodate the increased complexity of our resulting communities. Humans, like our primate relatives, are social animals. Our species has thrived because of our ability to form stable groups. Other primates have the brain power to manage tribes of 50 members or less, while our larger human brains facilitate relationships in groups of 150-200 members. The tribes that were successful in the earliest days of human evolution were the ones that practiced reciprocity, loyalty, and generosity within the tribe. A team of hunters that share their bounty will tend to do better over the long haul than a selfish lone-wolf hunter who has more than he can eat on good days but goes hungry on the days in between kills. Groups that transmit these learned behaviors to their children tend to be more successful than those that don’t.

Civilized society depends on shared rules and collective responsibility. Larger communities lead to specialization and interdependency, which require cooperation and trust. These are facilitated by teachable moral values of honesty, integrity, fairness, reciprocity, etc.  These moral values are judged by their effectiveness. Someone who lies and cheats may achieve success in the short term, but will harm the community in which they operate over time.

Once the moral values essential to the survival of individuals and communities are established, moral development can advance to areas of personal or group preference. Some examples of these moral preferences include religious beliefs, family structure (arranged marriages versus romantic love), and capital punishment. Religions can be a type of community structure of their own, and we can study which types of rules and ethical structures have been most successful in preserving various religious communities. Strict authoritarian religious codes have survived for millennia, despite the encroachment of conflicting truth claims from modern science, although in evolutionary time scales modern science only appeared on the stage a few moments ago.

For those moral values that are a matter of preference, and not survival value, how do we go about deciding what is moral and what is immoral? We can go in one of two directions. We can look internally to what feels right, or is consistent with thoughtfully determined first principles. Or, we can look externally to follow the guidance and influence of family, respected peers, or established societal norms. Of course, it’s not really that simple. What “feels right” to us internally is likely to be a product of the familial and social environment in which we developed. And today’s societal norms will have been influenced by the reasoned first principles of leaders in the past.

So what can we use as first principles? Some possible choices include
  • ·         Trust and follow authority
  • ·         Maximize common good
  • ·         Maximize personal gain
  • ·         Minimize suffering
  • ·         Maximize inherent worth and dignity of every person

Each of these has its pros and cons. Following authority requires you to have enough autonomy to make an informed decision regarding which of competing authorities to follow, and then expects you to abandon that autonomy from that point on. Maximizing the common good, or utilitarianism, runs into a problem if the greatest common good can be achieved by intense suffering on the part of a minority. Maximizing personal gain, the libertarian ideal, implies that the best of all possible worlds will result if each person is free to pursue their own selfish objectives. I don’t fully understand why that outcome is likely given our nature as social or tribal animals, and I don’t believe the record of history supports this premise, but many reasonable, intelligent people hold this view these days.

Personally, I am drawn to the inherent worth and dignity argument. It acknowledges that, while we may be responsible for our choices, none of us are fully responsible for our circumstances. None of us chose our parents, or their wealth, or their social connections. None of us chose our IQ, or our innate athletic prowess, or the shape of our noses, or our hairlines. All of us are products of our environments and our biology in ways that run too deep for any of us to fully grasp -- ways that include intangibles like work ethic. So none of us can claim any inherent superiority over anyone else, which leaves us all inherently equal in worth. And that feels right to me.

If we decide to follow external authority, we have a few options. As children, we have little choice but to follow the edicts of our parents. If we attend school, we can comply with school rules and policies. As adults, we can focus on compliance with city, state, and national laws and regulations, or we can choose to comply with the dictates of a chosen religion. As mentioned previously, some level of internal guidance is required to choose among competing external authorities, unless one is content to conform to the religion of one’s parents. And this is actually the most common method by which people arrive at membership in a particular religion.

So, where do we get our morals from? Our sense of what is right is a combination of behavior that is necessary for the species (such as parents caring for their young), supportive for groups (such as altruism and reciprocity), or elective for our personal well-being (such as feminism or GLBT rights.) Some values are genetically inherited, some are learned, and some are chosen. Some values can be evaluated in terms of what works and what doesn’t, and some values are a result of personal preferences which in turn are a product of our environments.

Now, back to the first part of the original question: “If you don’t believe in god, …” In my experience, people who start their questions about morality with that qualifier are operating on a set of assumptions or assertions that includes some or all of the following:
  • ·         There is a god – a supernatural, all-powerful, all-knowing creator and sustainer of the universe
  • ·         This god is concerned with human morality
  • ·         This god has established a definitive code of human morality
  • ·         This god communicates his/her/its moral code to humans
  • ·         They (the questioners) believe in the existence of this god
  • ·         They have established reliable communication with this god
  • ·         Their own personal morals are based on communication received from this god
  • ·         This god is monitoring their behavior and tracking their compliance with his/her/its moral code
  • ·         They will be judged and rewarded after they are dead, based on their degree of compliance with this revealed moral code during their earthly lives
  • ·         Anyone who does not believe in this god will be punished for this lack of belief after they are dead, regardless of how “nice” they may have been while alive.

 Most of these assertions are highly subjective, and those who hold them tend to be resistant to any logical arguments or evidence to the contrary. Setting aside for now the assertions regarding the existence of a god and eternal punishment or reward in an afterlife, I would like to focus on the topic of how, exactly, people who think they get their morals from a god actually get their morals from a god.

What I observe is that people who claim to get their morals from a god have generally been raised by parents who instilled the idea of a god and this god’s rules into them from an early age. There are exceptions, of course, and some people are persuaded to adopt these beliefs as adults, under peer pressure from other like-minded adults. I observe that people receive these god-rules by hearing them from their parents as children, by hearing them from preachers and Sunday School teachers in church, and by reading about them in various sacred texts. In other words, people receive these god-rules from other people in much the same way as they learn about history, current events, restaurant menus, and any other way that people receive ideas and information about people, places, and things: from other people.

What I have yet to observe, either personally or via verifiable anecdote, are people receiving moral wisdom via direct voices in their head which are not their own. Such incidents have been recorded in ancient religious texts (the story of Abraham and Isaac comes to mind), but in modern times when people base their actions on voices they claim to be hearing in their heads we are more likely to have them locked up for observation than to hail them as a source of moral inspiration.

Another concern often raised by the traditionally religious is that without a scorekeeper god, humans would have no incentive to behave morally. This premise has several weaknesses. First, many of our moral tendencies (parental care, for example) are better explained as evolutionary survival mechanisms than as arbitrary rules to be followed. Second, many moral principles (such as reciprocity, aka “the golden rule”) have existed in all cultures and all recorded history and predate modern religions in general and the Abrahamic religions in particular. Finally, history provides little evidence that belief in a scorekeeper god inoculates people against bad behavior. For further information see: the crusades, the inquisition, witch burnings, holy wars, human slavery, Catholic priest pedophilia, abortion clinic bombings, and 9/11.

Finally, there is the picking-and-choosing problem. If you want to disapprove of homosexuality because of a specific biblical passage in Leviticus, fine, but then you also have to stone your disobedient children and put to death any woman who does not bleed properly on her wedding night. And if you don’t approve of human slavery, you sure as heck didn’t get that moral value from the bible.

To sum up: “If I don’t believe in god, where do I get my morals?” My morals are based on a combination of innate feelings based on evolutionary survival mechanisms, learned behavior based on the environment in which I was raised, and voluntarily chosen values based on first principles. In other words, I get my morals the same places you get yours. Unless you’re hearing voices.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Gimme Shelter

 pads getting set up for the night
"Oh, a storm is threat'ning
My very life today
If I don't get some shelter
Oh yeah, I'm gonna fade away.."
                - The Rolling Stones

dishes, and more dishes

“While we do our good 
works let us not forget 
that the real solution 
lies in a world in which 
charity will have become 
      - Chinua Achebe, Anthills of the Savannah

My friend Pam and I have both been through the same wringer, and while we would have preferred an easier go of it, it helps to have a friend with whom you can really talk to and be yourself with. We get together every couple of months for coffee, usually at Starbucks (a company that supports marriage equality, but that's another blog...). Today we were just settling in to chat when a man walked by, returning to his table just behind us. I recognized him and smiled and was in the process of saying "hi" when I realized I had no idea how I knew this man. What came out of my mouth was, "hey, I know you, but I'm embarrassed to say I don't know how". He recognized me, but shook his head as I mentioned possible common places where we might know each other, yoga? workshops? church? meditation group? I knew I'd had conversations with him, but simply could not recall when and where. We all chatted a bit and then he went back to his computer and Pam and got caught up. Three hours later when we were leaving I turned to say goodbye to my friend from places unknown, and he looked me directly in the eye and said "I want to thank you for all the good work you do with PADS, I truly appreciate it." Of course. This man was one of the people I have got to know in my time volunteering for PADS. More specifically, this man was one of the homeless clients we shelter and feed.

making lunches
"The most beautiful people we have known 
are those who have known defeat, known 
suffering, known struggle, known loss, and 
have found their way out of the depths. 
These persons have an appreciation, a 
sensitivity, and an understanding of life 
that fills them with compassion, gentleness,
and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people 
do not just happen."  Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Scotty, a long time volunteer sets up the pads
So, let me tell you about Public Action to Deliver Shelter, or PADS as we call it. I have volunteered one night a month for about nine years now. On PADS nights I'd haul my kids and occasionally a friend or two, to the church where we, with many other volunteers, set up an overnight shelter for anywhere from 45-100 people without homes.

This means pulling out thin mattress pad, sheets, a blanket, a pillow and, if there is room, a chair for each homeless person, and placing them all in on the floor in one large room.

all ready to serve dinner
During this time we also bring together a hot and healthy dinner (baked chicken, potatoes/rice, vegetables, salad, rolls, dessert, coffee, drinks) and assemble bag lunches for each guest. Then, in the morning another crew comes in and makes and serves a bacon, eggs, bagels, and muffin  breakfast. In between there are people who volunteer to sit up overnight and watch over the guest while they sleep.

dish-washing - with STYLE
My job is in the kitchen. I'm in charge of making sure dinner gets set up, served, and cleaned up afterwards. This involves making sure all the food shows up (more volunteers bring in food they have cooked at home), that the food is warm enough, cold enough, cut up enough, or basically ready to serve people. I make sure Decaf coffee gets made, that there is milk out for the children that are allowed in early, that we have enough chicken pieces for the number of people we expect to serve (always a source of excitement), that the desserts get put out, that the tables are set, and that everyone has something to do, including the 5year old who has come with his parents and wants desperately to help.We have been short of chicken or potatoes or vegetables a few times. When that happens I either send someone out to buy chicken, make mashed potatoes for 70, toss a vegetable dish together, and once I made collard greens. Generally I have about 10 minutes to accomplish this task, so it is never dull.
hangin' by the desserts

Here are some of the things I want you to know about the people we shelter and feed.
  • There are always at least few families, with kids from infancy to adolescence. These kids have everything they own in a car or back pack, have no privacy, and still sit down before and after dinner and try to do their homework, because during the day they go to school. My kids have grown up playing with hundreds of different homeless children, some of whom they knew from school.
  • I've seen men carrying in suits so they can look presentable at their day job, even though they are spending the night on the floor of church crowded in with 70 other people, and one or two showers.
  • There are disabled people, sometimes with children, there is an 8year old girl who translates for her deaf mother.
  • I have seen all ages, races, faiths and apparent socio-economic statuses (people in suits, people in rags and everything in-between).
  • Not once in 9 years has any client ever been unkind, occasionally you will get someone who is grumpy or distracted (I know I would be), but for the most part, clients are gracious and grateful and say thank you,  some in a way that makes me want to cry.
  • After 9 years I still find myself surprised at the variety of people I see at PADS, the gentleman from the coffee shop for example, never would I have guested he had no home if I didn't see him at the shelter.
  • There are times when there simply is not enough space, and we have to turn people away. When this happens the PADS staff work very hard to find an alternate location for these people to spend the night. I hate sending people away.
  • The PADS organization is so much more than a place to sleep and a meal.
hard working AND good looking volunteers

 The following is from their website:

DuPagePads is so much more than a pad on the floor.

DuPagePads is about the journey home.

It’s about the journey from dependency to self-sufficiency. Not the shelter. Not the nights spent in a car, in a motel room or on the street. DuPagePads is a journey that begins with an extended hand, an affirming voice, and a trusting soul that will advocate undividedly for each individual.

The solution to end homelessness. Starts with housing.

The solution to end homelessness is more complex than providing individuals with food and shelter. Founded in 1985, DuPagePads is the largest provider of interim and permanent housing, coupled with support services in order to help individuals work toward becoming self-sufficient. These vital support services enable the individuals we help to receive case management and life coaching, employment support such as GED courses and job coaching, as well as engagement with employers—effectively stopping the cycle of homelessness.

DuPagePads IS the solution to end homelessness—because when someone believes in you, everything can change.

At the end of my shift we had fed 50 people, and people were getting settled in for the night. At the end of my shift it's not just about feeding and sheltering people. 

In the end, for me, it's about putting my beliefs in action, it's about caring for those in our community that need help. It's about treating every person with compassion and respect. It's about showing my own children how to treat people, that each person has inherent worth and dignity, and should be treated with respect and compassion. For no other reason than we are all human, and that this is how we should treat and care for each other.