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Empowering Survivors: Investing in the Renovation of Constance Morris House

Located in western and southwestern Cook County, Illinois, Pillars Community Health’s Constance Morris House has been providing vital domestic and sexual violence services for over 45 years.

And now, with the recent passage of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2024, spearheaded by Congressman Jesús “Chuy” García, and additional funding from various sources, the future of Constance Morris House looks brighter than ever.

Congressman García’s tireless advocacy has resulted in securing $1 million in funding from the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2024. However, the journey to fully renovate Constance Morris House and ensure its continued effectiveness in serving the community requires a collective effort. Thanks to $750,000 from the IL Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity championed by Former Representative Jim Durkin along with additional contributions from the Hinsdale Junior Women’s Club and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHS), the project is closer to its $2.7 million goal.

With these combined resources, the renovation of Constance Morris House is nearing completion and is expected to re-open its doors in the spring of 2024. 

At its core, Constance Morris House serves as a sanctuary for individuals and families living in the vicious cycle of domestic violence. In an era where emergency shelter availability is dwindling statewide, exacerbated by the challenges of the pandemic, the significance of this renovation cannot be overstated. The statistics paint a stark reality: from 2010 to 2019, Illinois witnessed a 10% decrease in emergency shelter availability, while domestic violence hotline calls surged by 22%.

In the previous fiscal year alone, Constance Morris House provided 2,600 nights of shelter, accommodating an average of 7 individuals per night. However, with the completion of renovations, the shelter anticipates doubling its capacity, aiming to provide over 5,000 nights of shelter annually to an estimated 12 individuals and their families each night. This expansion is not merely about increasing numbers; it’s about offering survivors a safe space to heal and rebuild their lives.

The renovation project encompasses transforming the outdated dormitory-style living spaces into 12 private family rooms with attached bathrooms, two of which will be ADA-accessible. This modernized layout prioritizes privacy, safety, and trauma-informed care. Additionally, common areas such as the serenity room and garden, along with a secure playground for children, are being established to foster healing and respite.

Domestic violence affects individuals and families irrespective of age, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, gender, race, religion, or nationality. Its consequences can reverberate through generations, perpetuating a cycle of trauma. By investing in the renovation of Constance Morris House, we are not only improving physical infrastructure but also sending a powerful message of care, support, and empowerment to survivors. 

As the completion of the renovation draws near, we are asking for continued support from the community. Your contributions can make a tangible difference in the lives of survivors and their families, providing them with the resources and sanctuary they need to break free from the cycle of violence. Together, let’s create a future where every individual feels safe, valued, and empowered.

Support this project and support PCH’s mission of improving the health of our communities by empowering individuals through compassionate whole-person care, by considering a gift of financial support. Your generosity can help transform lives and build a community where everyone can thrive free from fear and violence. Together, we can make a difference.

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