Thursday, November 5, 2020

Compassion for Campers Moves Indoors for Winter Distributions

The last out side Compassion for Campers distribution was held at St. Ann's Episcopal Church in Woodstock on October 27.  Starting this month things move inside for the cold weather season.

Note--The promised  analysis of Illinois and McHenry County election results will be posted on Friday.

Compassion for Campers, the program that provides supplies and gear for the McHenry County homeless who have no steady shelter will move indoors this winder at three locations—First United Methodist Church, 3717 Main Street, McHenry (enter basement from rear parking lot); Warp Corps, 114 North Benton Street, Woodstock (enter marked door on Jackson Street side), and First Church, 236 West Crystal Lake Avenue, Crystal Lake (enter marked door only.)  Each location will host at six week intervals for the duration of the season.

Here is the schedule for the November-April season. 

        First Methodist McHenry—Nov. 10, Dec. 22, Feb. 2, March 16, April 13

       Warp Corps—Nov. 24, Jan. 4, Feb.16, March 30

       First Church—Dec. 8, Jan. 19, March 2, April 20

Distribution will be from 3:30- 5 pm on each of these Tuesday afternoons. 

Clients will be Covid-19 screened out side with a temperature check and standard screening questions.  No one failing the test will be turned away but we will ask what they need and bring supplies out to them.  All clients are required to be masked before entering the buildings and a mask will be provided to anyone who does not have one.  Clients will be admitted one at a time and no more will be allowed inside at any time than the individual location can safely accommodate with correct social distancing.  At the conclusion of the distribution all remaining supplies will be packed for our storage and the host area will be cleaned and disinfected. 

Volunteers are needed to help with the distribution, especially younger folks in good health.  Contact Patrick Murfin at  or phone 815 814-5645 if you are available on any of the dates listed.  Donations to continue this work can be made by sending a check made out to Tree of Life UU Congregation, 5603 Bull Valley Road, McHenry, IL 60050. with Compassion for Campers on the memo line to the church.

The distributions are sponsored The Faith Leaders of McHenry County, host churches, Compassion For Campers, and Ridgefield-Crystal Lake Presbyterian Church volunteers.


  1. Thank you for what you do for those, considerably less fortunate than us. Are you in communication with Pioneer Center? They took over PADS, I believe. Perhaps there would be some synergy with your 2 groups. God bless you for your good works.

    1. Compassion for Campers had a long history of working with PADS and for several years held lunches every Monday during the months when the Church shelter was closed at their old Kishwaukee Road facility and distributed gear then. We supported the establishment of the new 70 bed facility and hoped it would be a year long solution to seasonal camping. Unfortunately Pioneer Center permanently banned more than 40 long term homeless from their program two years ago for rule violations--some serious but many relatively minor. When the pandiemic hit PADS froze accepting any new clients and still is not accepting any. It did not open the new facility to even its own clients for month and is now slowly admitting those who can prove they have tested negative or that they have quarantined for two weeks, a big burden for the homeless. As we enter the cold months many PADS beds remain unfilled. Meanwhile new people have become unhoused due to the economic hit of Covid shutdowns including those who never experienced homelessness, women, families with children, and the elderly. With the end of supplemental unemployment benefits this summer and the expiration of suspension of evictions we expect a new wave. Compassion for Campers at best offers only a band-aid to the most desperate, but one which is necessary because Pioneer Center is, alas, not serving that population.