October 1986—Through the organizational efforts of the Sycamore Ministerial Association and parishioners at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Sycamore (notably Judy Marshall and Therese Gorenz), Public Action to Deliver Shelter (PADS) began offering food and shelter to the homeless in DeKalb County from October through May.
October 16, 1986-April 15, 1987—Five area churches (Sycamore United Methodist Church, Salem Lutheran Church, Newman Catholic Student Center, Hillcrest Covenant Church, and St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Sycamore) provided food and shelter for the homeless on a rotating site basis one night a week. PADS was ran by volunteers under the direction of a Steering Committee composed of representatives from the participating churches (Joe Weishaar, Larry Gorenz, Gayla Warford, Paul Johnson, Kathy Clark, Lorys Oddi, Mary Uscian, Mark Cordes and Mike Richolson).
1986-1987—The first year of operations, PADS provided 400 nights of shelter, served 800 meals and had a nightly average of 3.1 people.
October 15, 1987—At the start of the second shelter season, nine churches were participating in the PADS program with the original five churches still providing site space.
March 1, 1988—A central, regular shelter site was obtained when PADS organizers rented the vacant parsonage owned by the First United Methodist Church in DeKalb. The accessibility of a central site was a major factor in increasing the ability to serve the homeless. The following year, overnight guests at PADS increased by 80% .
May 15, 1988—Hope Haven hired its first part-time director, Andrea Russin
January, 1989—Hope Haven hired Rodney Davis to act as co-director with Andrea.
April 24, 1989—PADS became incorporated.
March 15, 1990—Under the leadership of Pastor Dale Beaman, a Task Force was formed to find a more permanent location for PADS and create an agency with funding, staff, and organizational structure. Pastor Beaman became the first Chairman of the Board of Directors.
September 27, 1990—Joe Vigneux was hired as the first full-time Executive Director of PADS.
October 1, 1990—PADS began offering shelter seven nights a week at a permanent site, 316 North Sixth Street in DeKalb, Illinois.
April 1, 1991—Due to the rising number and needs of the homeless, the PADS board decided to stay open year round starting May 1, 1991.
December 4, 1991—The name of the shelter was officially changed from PADS to Hope Haven of DeKalb County, Inc.
1991-1992—Hope Haven of Dekalb County provided 4,099 nights of shelter, served 9,281 meals and had a nightly average of 11.3
August 15, 1995—Hope Haven of Dekalb County hired Lesly Wicks as their new Executive Director.
1996-1997—Hope Haven of Dekalb County provided 7,773 nights of shelter, served 21,111 meals and had a nightly average of 21.2
1998—Lesly Wicks, Hope Haven’s Executive Director, was chosen Social Worker of the Year for the State of Illinois from the National Association of Social Workers for her work with the homeless.
August 12, 1999—Groundbreaking for Hope Haven’s new 10,146 square foot shelter which included an emergency shelter and a new transitional housing program for families with children.
January 20, 2000—Hope Haven clients and staff move into the new shelter at 1145 Rushmoore Drive tripling the capacity to serve homeless individual and families.
June 15, 2002—Hope Haven adds a playground to the shelter with the support of businesses, foundations, organizations and other community support.
2001-2002—Hope Haven provided 19,476 nights of shelter, served 22,163 meals and had a nightly average of 53.3
July 21, 2003—Groundbreaking for Dresser Court, a permanent housing apartment complex for chronically homeless individuals with disabilities developed by the DeKalb County Residential Development Corporation, Hope Haven and the DeKalb Continuum of Care.
May1, 2004—Dresser Court opens at 965 West Dresser Road in DeKalb, providing permanent housing with services to chronically homeless individuals with disabilities.
2006-2007—Hope Haven provided 22,936 nights of shelter, served 30,685 meals and had a nightly average of 62.8
June 24, 2011—Hope Haven broke ground on an expansion project that will add almost 4,500 square feet to the existing Emergency Shelter. The expansion will add 30 more beds, a large classroom, an additional play room, and expand the total capacity at the Rushmoore facility to 102 beds—72 for women and families and 30 for men.
December 1, 2011—Hope Haven opened new expansion in the Emergency Shelter, increasing bed capacity by thirty beds.