Although Illinois has a “shelter in place” directive, South Suburban Family Shelter (SSFS) is still offering services to individuals and families who are in domestic violence situations.
Kris Scott of SSFS said the bilingual 24-hour hotline is always open for those in crisis and in need of emergency shelter. The hotline number is 708-335-3028. The Crisis Intervention Program will continue to help individuals and their children obtain short-term emergency shelter through the 24-hour hotline.
SSFS court advocates will not be at the Circuit Court of Cook County Markham courthouse until April 7. The Cook County State’s Attorney’s office is in place to assist victims with emergency orders of protection.
South Suburban Family Shelter provides caring and confidential help to victims of domestic violence. Scott said the professional counselors and advocates understand the dynamics of domestic violence and help clients identify and choose options in their life situations.
All services are free of charge for victims and are available in English and Spanish.
Financial support for South Suburban Family Shelter can be made online at www.ssfs1.org.
This spring, you have the chance to paint a piece of public art that supports an important community cause.
“Benches for Change” is the latest in annual installations sponsored by the Homewood Business Association that highlights aspects of the neighborhood with resident-created art.
This year the project provides benches you can purchase, paint and have displayed around town. Benches must be purchased by Sunday, March 15, at UpsaDaisy Boutique, 18100 Martin Ave. They will arrive, unassembled, in about two weeks.
Previous years have recognized South Suburban Humane Society with painted dogs and cats for “Pets on Parade,” and Cancer Support Center featuring uniquely decorated “Chairs With a Purpose.” Those fundraisers saw 30 to 40 items painted, with thousands of dollars raised.
This year, the project turns the town’s attention to South Suburban Family Shelter, an agency located in Homewood that provides education and resources to end the cycle of domestic violence.
The benches are part of recognizing the organization’s 40th anniversary in 2020, according to Brittany Williams, the agency’s events manager.
“With it being our 40th anniversary we stepped back and looked at what really makes us a staple in this area,” Williams said.
Benches supply a space for reflection, observation and rest — things SSFS provides to its clients who often are immersed in chaotic situations.
“It’s a two-seater bench, supplying that message that you’re never alone,” Williams said. “We’re trying to do for this town what we’ve done for so many people.”
Anyone from individuals and families to businesses, churches and youth groups can buy an unpainted bench for $150.
You’ll have about a month-and-a-half to paint the bench with a design of your choosing. Then benches will go to Homewood Auto Body to receive a two-step topcoat to make them durable outdoors.
Completed benches will be unveiled on June 5 during the Art & Garden Fair, then displayed throughout town over the summer.
Finally, during Fall Fest on Sept. 26 the benches will be auctioned, with proceeds benefiting SSFS. Winners of the benches can choose to leave them in town or relocate them to their home or business.
Williams said bench design possibilities are “limitless,” as long as they are kept tasteful. People may choose to include an inspirational message, a family crest, an abstract design or another representational image.
“Over at Jonathan Kane Salon, I know they’re having a contest among the staff to come up with the design for their bench,” Williams said.
Hopefully, she said, the vibrant benches will pique the interest of people doing business, shopping and dining in Homewood, who will then learn the connection to SSFS.
“People will start thinking about us when they’re doing things downtown,” Williams said. “The fact that it’ll come back to us is fun, and hopefully start that conversation about what we do as an organization.”