Note: Heretic, Rebel, a Thing to Flout will be on a brief hiatus beginning tomorrow through Sunday, August 28 while the proprietor takes a vacation.
The torrential downpours and gale force winds that tore through McHenry County last week destroyed or heavily damaged many of the campsites occupied by the unhoused. Tents were ripped up or blew away. Sleeping bags, blankets, and pads were soaked with no good way to dry them. Water and mud spoiled food, cooking equipment, and personal hygiene items.
Compassion for Campers, the program that provides camping gear and equipment to the homeless, expects extraordinary need and demand at the Community Empower Shower event this Friday, August 20 at Willow Crystal Lake, 100 S. Main Street from 10 am to 2 pm.
Compassion for Campers also has gear available at Warp Corps, 114 Benton St. in Woodstock, for daily walk-up availability. The program will be in urgent need of donations to restock its equipment and supplies.
Community Empower Showers provides wide ranging services for the homeless and those who are facing housing crisis will be held on the first and third Fridays of each month.
Organizers have included even more groups, agency, and services for the homeless population. The Empowerment Shower is a collaborative effort of many organizations and agencies including the Crystal Lake Food Bank, Consumer Credit Counseling, Family Health Partnership Clinic, Home of the Sparrow, Live 4 LALI, McHenry County Housing Authority, Pioneer Center, Prairie State Legal Services, Salvation Army, St. Vincent DePaul Society, Veterans Path to Hope, Willow Crystal Lake, and Warp Corps.
Services offered at no cost include:
Camping Supplies including Tent, Stove, Sleeping Bags
Toiletries/Personal Care items
Assistance obtaining IDs, birth certiﬁcates, Social Security cards
Assistance with SSI/SSDI (Disability)
Assistance with Medical coverage, SNAP, TANF
Medical Access—Doctor care, Covid-19 vaccine
Debt Management Services/Advocacy
Shelter and Housing Referrals and Linkages
Domestic Violence support
Substance Use/Harm Reduction Tools and Support
Mental Health, Spiritual, and Social Support Referrals
Contributions to support Compassion for Campers including building reserves for hotel rooms during cold and snow emergencies this winter 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. The donations are placed in a dedicated fund and not used for any other purpose. Tree of Life also donates all the administrative expenses of the program so 100% of all donations go directly to client assistance.