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Public Action to Deliver Shelter (PADS)

PADS is an acronym for Public Action to Deliver Shelter. The goal of the program is to provide hospitality, food, and emergency shelter to homeless people from October 1 through April 30 of each year. The sites are staffed entirely by volunteers, who prepare, supervise, and clean sleeping accommodations. They also provide, prepare, and offer dinner, breakfast, and a sack lunch, all in a welcoming, supportive, safe environment.

Our Lady of the Wayside is part of a group of 18 churches in the northwest suburbs that provides these services to the homeless. Each Wednesday night the Rectory Meeting rooms are used to provide meals and shelter from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. Thursday, with more than 200 dedicated volunteers working in shifts.

PADS Volunteer Opportunities and Shifts:

  • 1st shift - 6 pm - 11 pm - Set up the room, welcome guests, insure their comfort
  • Cook - Bring food based on suggested recipes or provide supplies like milk, dessert or lunch meat
  • Dinner - 6 pm - 8 or 9 pm - serve dinner to guests, clean the kitchen
  • 2nd shift - 11 pm - 3 am - Make lunches for guests, insure guest comfort, catch up on your reading
  • 3rd shift - 3 am - 7 am - wake guests per instructions, help with breakfast and cleanup
  • Breakfast - 6 am - 7 am - Serve guests breakfast
  • Clean Up - 7 am - 8 am - Clean Up
Journeys from PADS to Hope (the full name of the Northwest Suburban PADS coordinating office) has restrictions suggesting those who are not yet juniors in high school should not be volunteering when guests are present. We welcome young people for set up and to help in the kitchen without interacting with guests.

Contact the PADS Coordinator for more information or to volunteer at



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