It all began on Monday, Dec. 30, when Chicago Heights Pastor Scott Reese put out a notice on Facebook explaining he had several homeless women and children with nowhere to go for New Year's.
When veteran Chicago Heights photojournalist Mary Compton saw the posting, she contacted the city and the the mayor’s office got to work. Eventually, a solution was found in First Ward Ald. and Greater Faith Baptist Church Pastor, Walter Mosby, who agreed to let a group of 25 people stay at his church for New Year’s.
A week later, when temperatures plummeted and inches of snow began to pile up, the city responded again—opening up the Bloom Township Center, police department and library as warming centers. Those without places to go for the evening were bussed to South Suburban PADS shelters by Bloom Township.
“It was great to see such teamwork between Bloom Township, the library and the police department,” Chicago Heights Chief of Staff Lisa Aprati said. “Chief Guiliani was very helpful, making sure there were officers on the buses to help escort people to the PADS shelters.”
Chicago Heights Mayor David Gonzalez applauded the efforts of all those involved in taking care of the city's less fortunate.
“That was an instance where we were presented with an opportunity to help some people out that really needed it,” Gonzalez said. “I think anyone able to help would have done the same.”