Thursday, January 6, 2022

Empower Shower and Compassion for Campers Serve the Unhoused in a Cold New Year

The New Year has brought snow and frigid temperatures to the unhoused population of McHenry CountyCompassion for Campers, the program that provides camping gear and equipment to the homeless, will have what is needed by those who are sleeping outdoors including warm clothing at the Community Empower Shower event this Friday, January 7 at Willow Crystal Lake, 100 S. Main Street from 10 am to 2 pm.  The following distribution will be held there on Friday, January 21 during the same hour. As winter has closed in they have been serving record numbers of clients at each event.

Community Empower Shower which provides wide ranging services for the homeless and those who are facing housing crisis, are held on the first and third Fridays of each month.

During the cold weather showers will still be offered inside the building.

Haircuts are among the many services offered an Community Empower Shower events.

Organizers have included even more groups, agencies, 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:


Laundry Facilities

Camping Supplies including Tent, Stove, Sleeping Bags

Toiletries/Personal Care items


Onsite Meal




Assistance obtaining IDs, birth certiļ¬cates, 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

Veteran’s Services

Substance Use/Harm Reduction Tools and Support

Mental Health, Spiritual, and Social Support Referrals

Just some of the essential camping gear provided by Compassion for Campers at the Empower Shower Event.

Contributions to support Compassion for Campers are urgently needed to continue to purchase supplies and can be made by sending a check made out to the Tree of Life UU Congregation, 5603 Bull Valley Road, McHenry, IL 60050 with Compassion for Campers on the memo line or donate on-line here designating Compassion for Campers in the drop down menu. 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.

For more information contact Compassion for Campers coordinator Patrick Murfin at 815 814-5645 or email .


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