Lincoln Park Community Shelter

Lincoln Park Community Shelter Logo

Basic Information

Address: 600 W. Fullerton Pkwy., Chicago, IL
Phone Number: 773.549.6111
Fax Number: 773.549.1767
Director: Erin Ryan, MSW

Action Shots

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Additional Information

Causes Served: Homelessness
Background Check: Yes
Population Served: Adult women and men currently experiencing homelessness, and those at risk of becoming homeless
Hours of Service: 24 hours
Days of Service: All
Mission Statement:

The Lincoln Park Community Shelter brings our community together to empower homeless men and women to make life changes.

Philosophy/Belief Statement:


•We will work to become the model for interim housing in Chicago, focusing on attainment of permanent housing for each guest.
•We will provide each guest with comprehensive social services, resources and tools to overcome personal and societal barriers in order to attain self-sufficiency.
•We will celebrate guests' daily accomplishments and progress toward long-term goals, continually adapting our services to respond to the changing needs of guests.


•Accountability: The LPCS, its guests, and stakeholders comprise a community of common interest - each group supports and is accountable to the other. The LPCS and its guests are accountable to each other for the success of each individual and programs overall. The LPCS is also accountable to its many volunteers, donors, and the community at large to provide quality programs that enhance the lives of all those involved.
•Self-Determination: Guests take ownership of the change process by setting short and long-term goals according to their needs. Guests and staff work in partnership, developing individually tailored programs that enable guests to achieve their goals.
•Community Engagement: LPCS, its guests, and its supporters work with Lincoln Park residents, local community organizations, faith communities, and the business community to ensure mutual respect, understanding, and cooperation.

Program History:

In 1985, the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless estimated that 25,000 people would be homeless in Chicago. A group of concerned neighbors in the Lincoln Park area of Chicago got together to discuss a way to help homeless people in their community.

To establish the Lincoln Park Community Shelter, a partnership was formed with four neighboring churches: the Church of Our Saviour Episcopal Church, Lincoln Park Presbyterian Church, St. Clement Catholic Church, and St. Pauls United Church of Christ. On February 12, 1985, the Lincoln Park Community Shelter opened its doors to a handful of homeless neighbors. The LPCS is not religiously affiliated, and is completely privately funded. Operating on a modest budget, we rely largely on the support of volunteers. Truly a community-based organization, the LPCS has always been operated by an annual pool of more than 1,500 volunteers who serve as meal providers and overnight supervisors

Additional Information:


Volunteer Opportunities

Overnight Volunteer: This is a great way to catch up on that extra work you've been meaning to do! Overnight volunteers provide supervision for the LPCS and its guests from 9:00 PM - 7:15 AM on weekdays, and 9:00 PM - 8:15 AM on weekends. Volunteers must be 18 years of age and must attend one of the monthly orientations before training. Overnight volunteers are needed 365 days of the year - but this activity does book up quickly. Volunteers are NOT expected to stay awake all night. You can read, work, watch TV, sleep, etc in a room separate from the guests. Lights out for guests is 10:00 PM. For training, you will be paired with a veteran volunteer for your first overnight until you are comfortable on your own.

Front Desk/Reception: Work with Shelter staff, clients and volunteers! The Front Desk Volunteer answers general phone inquiries and directs calls, oversees client and visitor sign in/out, and other lights administrative projects as needed. Volunteers are needed 6-8pm Monday - Friday, and 11-2pm, 2-5pm, and 5pm-8pm Saturdays and Sundays.

Track Activities: Track Activities Volunteers teach one-hour classes that are focused on enhancing personal and professional life skills. A syllabus is provided, but volunteers are welcome to bring their background and experience to assist in hosting the classes. We welcome new and fun ideas! Classes are held during the day and early evening. **LPCS is in particular need of computer tutors, mock interviewers, and individuals who can develop and teach: anger management, personal safety, critical thinking & collaboration.**

Weekday Breakfast: This is a great individual or group activity.  Breakfast is served Monday through Friday at 7:30am.  Volunteers will provide breakfast for 20-25 guests, and is served buffet style.  Volunteers can come in and cook a hot breakfast or simply bring in bagels and fruit.  This is a great opportunity for guests and volunteers to interact on an informal basis. 

Sunday Hot Breakfast: Great group activity! Hot Breakfast is served at 9:30am on Sundays. Volunteers purchase, prepare and serve breakfast to the guests of LPCS. The volunteer signing up for the Hot Breakfast opportunity should coordinate his/her own group of volunteers (no more than 10 people!) to provide the breakfast.

Sack Lunches: Sack lunches are also needed on a daily basis. Prepare (at home or at LPCS) 30 lunches, and drop them off in the evening. Overnight volunteers distribute the lunches in the morning, for guests to take with them as they leave for the day.

Saturday Hot Lunch Volunteers: Great group activity! Hot Lunch is served at 1:30pm on Saturdays. Purchase, prepare and serve lunch to the guests of LPCS. The volunteer signing up for the Hot Lunch opportunity should coordinate his/her own group of volunteers (no more than 10 people!) to provide the lunch.

Dinner Volunteers: This type of volunteer assignment works best with a group of 4-6 people, but no more than 10 (i.e. families, friends, co-workers, church groups). We serve dinner nightly to our guests.  Meal volunteers prepare a meal that will serve up to 35 people. Volunteers are expected to plan, purchase, and prepare the food. The menu is up to you!

Family Volunteering: Interested in volunteering with your family? Many LPCS volunteer opportunities are great for families! Kids have a great time playing games with guests and helping serve meals. Family Volunteer opportunities include: making meals, preparing sack lunches, and organizing donation drives at school/work (see description below).


Community Engagement Program: Purchase, prepare, and serve a hot breakfast for about 10-15 of our community clients.  Volunteers are needed to also help with signing guests up for laundry, showers, and phone use.  Volunteers also help guests in the clothing closet.  This activity takes place every Saturday at 8:00am at St. Pauls Church.  Breakfast is served around 9:30am.  Great activity for groups of around 5 people.