Volunteer FAQs

Will Kendall County PADS be open in October 2022?                                        

At this time, the Board of Directors has a “pause” on reopening in the fall of 2021.   Administrators of the shelter program will be considering guidelines recommended by the CDC, the State of Illinois and the Kendall County Health Department.   In addition, the seven shelter sites will be consulted and volunteers will be contacted for their input by the end of the summer.   The PADS Board of Directors will make a decision about re-opening plans for 2022 based on how to best serve people living in homelessness.

Why Does Kendall County NEED a PADS Program?

Kendall County has homeless people — some need a place to stay overnight. PADS offers temporary, overnight shelter, along with nutritious meals to men, women, and children who are homeless or in need.

Some indicators of homelessness: As of June 2019, nearly 200 children, K-12, in Kendall County public schools registered as homeless in the last school year. The Kendall County Housing Authority frequently receives calls from people who inquire about affordable housing. The Kendall County Food Pantry each month serves more than 4000 clients, some of who are homeless.

PADS in Kendall County was started in October 2010 and has operated each year for six months, from mid-October through mid-April. In the first ten winter seasons, PADS has provided shelter to 528 different individuals – men, women, and children. Some guests used the shelters for a night or two, some stayed overnight for a few weeks, and some for several months. In ten winter  seasons, PADS recorded 12,387 “overnight stays” and served 37,498 meals to guests.

Needless to say, there is a tremendous need to provide temporary shelter for Kendall County residents.

For volunteers serving on a 4-hour shift:

How will I know what to do? Each season in early October, we offer a volunteers’ training session which lasts for about two hours. Training is facilitated by professionals and experienced site coordinators.  A Volunteer Manual is also provided to every volunteer. At the shelter site, new volunteers will work with veteran volunteers. Watch for more information in the local papers and check this web site for Volunteer Training dates and times.  (The next Volunteer Training will be announced.)

Will I be safe? The program is designed with safety regulations for both guests and volunteers. These are laid out in the volunteer manual and the guest registration forms. The Kendall County Sheriff’s Department and the local police departments are ‘on call’ at all times if needed.

How much time will be involved? If you sign on for a shift, you will work one shift per month (about 4-1/2 hours per shift) for six months of the PADS program.   Other volunteer roles require varying times of commitment.   Serving just six times a year is a tremendous gift to those in need.

How many people have been helped by Kendall County PADS? In the first five seasons, PADS provided shelter and meals to nearly 474 different individuals (men, women, and children) for a total of 11,006 “overnight stays” and 33,325 meals served.

How many volunteers are needed to care for the homeless through Kendall county PADS? It takes nearly 600 volunteers to operate PADS efficiently. EVERY volunteer is important and contributes to the successful operation of this shelter program.

What are the different volunteer positions?  
Shift volunteers (4.5 hours – once time each month):
Shift #1:  6:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.
Shift #2: 10:45 p.m. to 3:00 a.m.
Shift #3: 2:45 a.m. to 7: 30 a.m.

Partial Shift:  6:00 a.m. to 7:15 a.m.  (assist with morning tasks; one time a month)

Food Crew:  6:30- 8:30 p.m. – one evening meal each month working with a team of  3-4 other volunteers

Laundry Exchange Driver (one time each month)
For more information, download a Volunteer Brochure.