The Outreach House, Lombard-Villa Park Food Pantry, FUMC Clothes Closet merge
The Outreach House in Lombard is pleased to announce that it is merging with Lombard-Villa Park Food Pantry and First United Methodist Church Clothes Closet to expand the services it provides to more than 2,200 families who are living below the poverty level in Lombard, and throughout York Township.
The Outreach House already provides basic goods and services including diapers, hygiene products, clothing, books, consultations, and information about medical assistance and early learning services to low income families. The new partnership will help families also acquire food, clothing and more under the same roof, providing a one-stop shop for families in need.
"Over the past several years and especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been increased demands for services that meet the basic human needs of individuals that are trying to make ends meet on limited incomes in the York Township area," says Kris DeSmedt, director of The Outreach House. "Together, our organizations will be able to create a central location where our clients can access the food pantry, the infant needs pantry, the clothing closet, and any emergency support they may need."
With the addition of the resources of Lombard-Villa Park Food Pantry and FUMC Clothes Closet, The Outreach House will now be able to provide families with end-to-end services throughout their time of need.
The Outreach House specializes in providing for the physical, social and emotional needs of young families by providing diapers, formula, emotional support, and guidance for young families. Access to the food pantry and clothes closet will enhance these existing services to help families as their children grow, and as they reach older adulthood. Combining these services under one roof will also maximize resources by allowing donors and volunteers to contribute to one entity to help many different kinds of families, from those just starting out with new babies to senior citizens.
The next step for the partnership is to find a new location to house all of its services. The food pantry's current location within the First United Methodist Church requires clients to climb stairs, making access difficult for seniors and mothers with very young children. The Outreach House is seeking a first floor location with room for expanded cooler space to allow its clients more options for the fresh produce, meats, and dairy products that are vital for growing families. The new facility would also house private offices for consultations, classroom space, and a food preparation area.
The new partnership received a grant from Forefront- the Mission Sustainability Initiative, which has enabled it to engage AltruNext to provide professional guidance on the transition. Chicago Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights is assisting with pro bono legal services for The Outreach House.
Established in 1997, The Outreach House, 24 W. Ash St. in Lombard, is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that serves low-income families by supplying diapers, infant supplies, gently used clothing and emergency bill payment assistance. In 2021, The Outreach House merged with Lombard-Villa Park Food Pantry and First United Methodist Church Clothes Closet to provide food, clothing and other staples for more than 2,200 families across DuPage County. For more information on The Outreach House, visit www.theoutreachhouse.org.