Graduate Council and Community
The LPCS Graduate Council is composed of LPCS Graduates who choose to stay connected with LPCS and have an active role in its future.
- Members volunteer and give back in a number of ways, including outreach and presentations.
- The Graduate Council provides small Pursuit of Happiness grants to Guests and Graduates of LPCS who apply for funds toward a dream or pursuit of happiness.
- In July 2013, Graduate Council members visited the National Alliance to End Homelessness conference in Washington, D.C.
- Stay connected to a positive support system, including staff, volunteers, and fellow Graduates of LPCS.
- Help raise awareness about homelessness and the work of the Lincoln Park Community Shelter in the community.
- Develop leadership skills and self-confidence, and continue to work toward long-term goals set as part of the On Track Program.
- Speaker’s Bureau: Several Council members have received training through Community Media Workshop on public speaking, and members regularly tell their personal stories of homelessness throughout the community, including to school and church groups.
- Beat the Heat: During the summer of 2012, the Council sponsored a donation drive to collect fans and air conditioners for fellow Graduates in need. They designed marketing and solicitation materials as well as a communication plan. More than 25 Graduates received fans and air conditioners that summer!
- Advocacy: Graduate Council members have received leadership training through Lakeview Action Coalition, National People’s Action, and IIRON, learning how to use their voices collectively to advocate for systems change. Four Council members attended the National Conference on Ending Homelessness in Washington, D.C. in July 2012. Watch a video about their experience here. Watch video.
- Pursuit of Happiness Fund: In order to help Guests and Graduates move beyond meeting basic needs, the Council created a scholarship fund that allows them to pursue hobbies or interests that improve their quality of life. Scholarship recipients to date have pursued artistic endeavors, learned yoga, and meditation techniques, and paid memberships that help expand social networks.
- “A Day in the Life”: The Graduate Council is currently producing a short film that conveys to viewers what it is like to live at LPCS. Video Below:
The Graduate Community offers Graduates of LPCS who have secured permanent housing access to continued services; including meals, rental assistance, case management and referrals, access to donated items, and the continued guidance and support of the LPCS community of staff, volunteers, and Guests.
- Bimonthly, Graduates gather to prepare and serve dinner to current Guests.
- Many Graduates are invited to participate in a peer mentoring program for current Guests in transition; the support of our Graduates has consistently proven to be beneficial to all parties involved.
- Graduates are invited to participate in weekly and monthly activities at LPCS, including educational and support groups, and social activities.