Church of Our Saviour has a long history of community service outreach programs. If you are interested in volunteering for any of our outreach programs, please complete the Volunteer Form or contact the office with any questions. If you are interested in volunteering with any Care For Friends programs, please click here to be taken to their page for more information.
Care For Friends and COS
In the Summer of 1968, Church of Our Saviour opened its doors to shelter young people from the violence surrounding the Democratic National Convention riots in Lincoln Park. In the ensuing decades, this support from a single organization has blossomed into a wide-ranging network of strong community partnerships that have come together to support Chicago's most vulnerable, which we have come to identify as our Friends.
Together, this diverse network of strong connections provides a wide range of services which are organized and formalized under the umbrella of a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in 2012. Initially known as the 530 Fullerton Foundation, the organization rebranded in 2016 as Care for Friends to better describe the scope of services we offer.
Care For Friends provides Chicago's homeless with more than a handout. CFF gives them hope for a lasting change in their lives.
We know that there are many organizations in Chicago that can affect the major causes of homelessness. Yet we also know that the identification requirements and other barriers to entry mean those organizations don't get to serve nearly as many folks as they'd like.
That's why CFF has focused on gathering a community - of housing & food insecure guests, volunteers, and partners - who come together for a regular meal that has no sign-in requirements or other "asks" of our members. Clothes are distributed, doctors visits happen, and relationships are built - including with new friends who can now be trusted to help improve the lives of those experiencing homelessness.
As a result of these interactions:
50% of clients served by an affordable housing partner were met at Care For Friends gatherings.
78% of are now housed
Graduates of a job skills partner program are now earning an average wage of $15.00/hour
65% of CFF guests have now found a permanent medical home.
Another result of this ongoing partnership between Church of Our Saviour and Care For Friends is the current plan to replace the church's aging parish hall, where CFF currently operates is programming, with a new, modern, community center. The project is already underway and we look forward to breaking ground in the summer of 2022. You can learn more about that project by visiting the COS Capital Campaign to Replace the Parish Hall site.
Food for Friends
Care for Friends serves 9,000 sit-down, hot meals each year to any guest in need through a three-days-per-week lunch program. Our meals are planned to address the unique needs of homeless populations, emphasizing fresh produce and high protein contents. Meals are served with dignity and respect through a volunteer corps of senior citizens, school groups, and neighborhood community members.
Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays from 11am - 12:30pm
Healthcare for Friends
Guests of this program receive foot care and evaluations twice per month by a team of volunteers including nurses as well as podiatric and medical doctors. The clinic provides referrals to regional free health clinics and hospitals for more urgent medical conditions. Typically, this is the only preventative care our guests are receiving. Through this program, we are helping to reduce reliance on emergency rooms as a primary source of care for the populations we serve.
Third & Fourth Saturdays from 10:30am -12:00pm
Clothes for Friends
At each of our meals, guests have access to a seasonal clothes closet, which can provide two articles per guest per week. Guests currently do basic laundry services in our host building's washroom sinks, but it is our desire to work with our host to install laundry facilities as part of their upcoming renovation.
Saturdays from 11am - 12:30pm
Groceries for Friends
Once a month, we directly deliver fresh groceries to housing and food-insecure guests. Each CarePack grocery delivery includes fresh produce, grains, frozen items. along with shelf-stable foods to carry the guests throughout the month until their next delivery.