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South Suburban PADS receives $1M gift from MacKenzie Scott’s organization

MacKenzie Scott’s Yield Giving announced on Wednesday, March 20, that South Suburban Public Action to Deliver Shelter (SSPADS) is one of the Yield Giving Open Call’s awardees. SSPADS will receive $1 million.

In March 2023, Yield Giving launched an Open Call for community-led, community-focused organizations whose explicit purpose is to enable individuals and families to achieve substantive improvement in their well-being through foundational resources.

The Open Call received 6,353 applications and initially planned for 250 awards of $1 million each. In the fall of 2023, organizations top-rated by their peers advanced to a second round of review by an external evaluation panel recruited for experience relevant to this cause and underwent a final round of due diligence. The donor team decided to expand the awardee pool and the award amount. 

Doug Kenshol, executive director of SSPADS, said the organization was grateful for the gift.

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“People living in Chicago’s South Suburbs experience high rates of poverty, housing instability and homelessness,” Kenshol said. “We are thrilled that MacKenzie Scott has chosen to make this investment in the Southland region. In the coming weeks, we will engage our staff and board to determine the best way to invest these resources to help people to overcome homelessness, obtain stable housing, and achieve better health and economic security.”

“This award comes at such a critical time to address the rising housing and economic insecurity in the south suburban region,” said Gyata Kimmons, board president of SSPADS. “This gift will be transformational and will have an untold positive impact on the majority Black communities we serve in the South Suburbs.”

SSPADS works to prevent and end homelessness in the south suburbs of Chicago by assisting unhoused people obtain affordable, permanent rental housing and achieve better health, well-being and economic security. 

Over the past 33 years, the organization has provided 656,598 nights of shelter and 1.98 million meals to enable 19,817 people to overcome homelessness. In addition to shelter, SSPADS provides pathways home by helping over 400 people to preserve or access affordable housing homes every year.

More information on the Yield Giving Open Call and other initiatives can be found at www.leverforchange.org.

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