Itasca Homeless Shelter
Itasca First Presbyterian Church first took on the ministry of the Itasca Homeless Shelter in 1987. Today it continues this same ministry on Tuesdays, October through April as a part of the DuPage PADS Interim Housing overnight shelter system. Now it mainly houses the site with four different church-based groups running all of the shelter shifts on a monthly basis.
Clearly God is in charge. It is our job to be obedient to His command. In God's economy we are to leave some of our "harvest" to be gleaned by the poor. We are to serve Him by serving the poor in an empowering way. Our next challenge is to undo the entitlement that has been accidentally learned by the local homeless population because of our generosity. We must give them opportunities to work for their needs in order to resurface God's economy. The Itasca Homeless Shelter is the most extreme crisis wedge of the continuum of care pie chart of Itasca's social services.
Volunteering at shelter
- Volunteer at one of the shifts on a Tuesday night/Wednesday morning.
- Pick up and do laundry.
- Donate food, prepared dishes, or baked goods.
- Share ideas and new ways to connect with and serve people in need.
Make a donation to Itasca Homeless Shelter.
Bible Study Program
After a few years of coordinating the shelter site, Engel was challenged with the idea that local church pastors should be offering support or Biblical study since it is a church-based ministry. Engel reached out to the many busy local pastors with minimal success. Then he and his son began a Bible study themselves. Housed in a separate room, the Bible study began a multiple year path of success.
Today the Bible study continues year-round with an email component over the summer. Last year's season (2014-15) included the attendance of pastor Lucas O'Neil of Itasca's Christian Fellowship Church. After half a season he moved on but left behind the co-leading skills of a dedicated Christian, Eric Newton. Eric has continued to co-lead the Bible study to this day. Local Itascan Randy Drolen has offered his Biblical expertise and guest co-led as well. The guests attend and direct the topic of the Bible study discussion based on co-leader suggestions. A blog on this website will discuss some of the impactful faith topics addressed in the Bible study.