SSFS continues services for those in domestic violence situations

By: Carole Sharwarko

HF Chronicle March 25, 2020

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

Chamber of Commerce heads up 3-village holiday charity effort

By: Carole Sharwarko
HF Chronicle November 16, 2019
The Homewood Area Chamber of Commerce (HACC),  in cooperation with the villages of Homewood, Flossmoor and Glenwood, will conduct a charitable drive to support three local groups this holiday season.
The Village of Homewood will collect items to support the South Suburban Family Shelter (SSFS), the Village of Flossmoor will collect for South Suburban PADS and the Fire Department from the Village of Glenwood will collect toy donations for their annual toy drive.

This idea to support all three communities was formulated by the HACC Board to better include all three communities that are part of the chamber.

Chamber President Rodney Young said, “We hope the chamber members and Homewood, Flossmoor and Glenwood residents will support these charitable drives and donate to the organization of their choice. The Chamber realizes this is a busy time for everyone and our area is very charitable conducting numerous holiday drives for many worthy causes. But we’re hoping to show that the HACC cares and give back to the communities with a great showing of support.

“The chamber is so grateful for the wonderful cooperation among the villages. This cooperative effort matches our 2020 goal to foster better relationships with local groups through cooperative events and causes. Please donate to those in need.”

Please drop off donations at one of these locations no later than Dec. 11 or bring your donations to the Chamber’s Holiday Lunch 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday Dec. 12 at Aurelio’s in Homewood.
According to Brittany Williams from the SSFS, all 26 families consisting of 94 individuals who are in need this year have been adopted, which is fabulous, said Williams.

“Now these families need food items to have a nice holiday dinner. Any non-perishable food items that  you would serve at your Holiday gathering will really help.”

The wish list from domestic violence survivors includes boxes of stuffing, instant potatoes, cranberries, rolls, canned pumpkin and canned vegetables.

The village of Homewood will accept these items at the village hall, 2020 Chestnut Road, during regular business hours from now until Dec. 11.  Village hall is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday.
If anyone would like to donate to the SSFS with a check or gift card, please drop or mail them to SSFS at 18137 Harwood Ave. anytime between now and Christmas. Make checks Payable to the South Suburban Family Shelter.

“Some of our clients need gas to get to their counseling appointments, so gas gift cards are always welcome,” said Williams.

The Village of Flossmoor will be collecting for South Suburban PADS (Public Action to Deliver Shelter).

According to PADS officials, the homeless are not only in need of shelter but also necessities such as chapstick, deodorant and new underwear.

PADS also asked for $5 gift cards for Walmart, McDonald’s, Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks, Walgreens and similar stores.

The gift cards help the homeless get by when they need food and clothing or just a hot cup of coffee during the winter cold.

These items, except gift cards, can be dropped off at the Flossmoor village hall, 2800 Flossmoor Road, during regular business hours from now until Dec. 11.

Please drop off gift cards directly to PADS at one of their two south suburban locations, 414 Lincoln Highway, Chicago Heights, or 4411 W Gatling Boulevard, Country Club Hills.  

According to Glenwood Fire Chief and HACC Board member Kevin Welsh, the Glenwood Fire Department hosts an Annual Food and Toy Drive throughout the community.

“We collect at either fire station, 605 Glenwood-Lansing Road or at 534 Roberts Drive, until Dec. 14,” said Welsh. “We drive every street and collect what people have packaged for us and left at the end of their driveways.”

New and wrapped toys and non-perishable food items will be accepted until Dec. 14. Items are sorted and prepared to deliver the to families in need. Families are identified with help from community suggestions and in consultation with Brookwood School District 167 staff.

Monetary donations are also accepted, Welsh said.

“The Glenwood Firefighters Association uses this money to bolster the donations and purchase whatever we need to provide each family with groceries for a holiday meal and presents for each child and sometimes their parents.”

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