There are 256 unhoused people in Winnebago and Boone Counties. Winter can be an especially brutal time for unhoused people. In 2018 we launched the pilot program of the Overnight Cafe in the gym at SecondFirst Church with the premise of keeping unhoused people safe during sub-zero nights. Happily, no one died of hypothermia in Northern Illinois. This is in contrast to the 700 people who died of hypothermia in the U.S.

At the Overnight Cafe, unhoused guests (and others needing warmth) are met with food, clean and warm clothing, and shower and laundry facilities. They spend the night playing cards, watching movies, and talking to others. Guests are treated with respect throughout their stay in an effort to restore their dignity and build rapport. Pending our grant approvals, our Overnight Café will run every night from January 6, 2020 until March 1, 2020.

Stay tuned for updates on the status of this program. As always, we encourage you to follow us on Facebook for current news and events.




This program partly supported by a grant from the Dr. Louis & Violet Rubin Fund of the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois’ Community Grants Program.