On the Streets during Chicago’s Winter – “Joe”

February 13, 2015

Imagine not having a place to stay warm and get out of the bitter Chicago cold. For thousands of individuals in Chicago this is their reality every day.

A few weeks ago David, Director of the Marquard Center noticed a man who had come to meet with case manager Jonathan Dargatz.

“I first noticed that the man was rubbing his hands together,” says David. “When I took a closer look I saw that his fingers were black. He had frostbite.”

After the man’s meeting was finished David introduced himself, asked the man’s name, and engaged him in conversation about his hands. “Joe” told David that he didn’t have any gloves. He’d been sleeping outside and didn’t realize he had frostbite until he woke up. David made sure that Joe got a new pair of gloves before he left the Marquard Center that day.

A few weeks later David saw Joe again. This time Joe’s feet were wet- he’d been walking around in the snow in gym shoes- and he was rubbing his frostbitten hands together again.

“He needed boots and another pair of gloves,” says David. “Our guests who live on the streets often get their possessions stolen, or lose them. A guest might need two or three pairs of gloves or hats over the course of a winter.”

After Joe’s case management meeting was finished David took him aside to get him what he needed. Joe walked out of the Marquard Center that day with proper cold weather clothing: new gloves, boots, a hat, and a scarf.

Later that evening David saw Joe at dinner in the Marquard Center dining room. Joe had a big smile on his face.

“Are you feeling better?” David asked him.

Joe said he was. “I don’t like to ask anyone for anything,” Joe told him. “But my hands were hurting. Your actions are very much appreciated.”

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Tony is thankful for the warmth of the Marquard Center.

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Favio and Lupe enjoy a break from the winds outside.

Every dollar donated to this campaign will go toward helping individuals find a place to stay safe and warm. Our On the Streets during Chicago’s Winter campaign runs until March 7th and will be raising money to help provide life-saving programs and services for our guests.

We are half way to our campaign goal of $2,000!