In 1993, Patricia Jones, Waukegan Township Supervisor and the Board of Trustees, began the unique and challenging task of renovating the historical Waukegan Fire Station building. With the renewed spirit of savings lives, many volunteers, friends, community leaders, and concerned citizens, transformed an old garage for fire trucks into a useful and much needed homeless shelter for men.
The Eddie Washington Center was named in memory of Milton E. Staben (1919-1993) former Waukegan Township Supervisor and his son, Peter Staben (1944-1993). Both men dedicated their lives advocating for the rights and better conditions for the underprivileged in Lake County.
The Eddie Washington Center has won various awards because of the uniqueness and creative ways of confronting the homeless issues in Lake County. The awards include, a 1st place winner of the 1994 Governor's Home Town Award and the 1996 Lake County Affordable Housing Award Winner.
WHAT IS THE Eddie Washington Center
Waukegan Township Eddie Washington Center provides transitional housing for single adult men who are homeless in the Lake County area.
In an effort to arrest a continued homeless condition, The Eddie Washington Center attempts to confront these issues through holistic case management. This may include but not limited to monitoring daily activities, participating in work assignments, addressing daily living skills, receiving job counseling, and budget counseling. This process helps the resident align their goals with pursuing and achieving a true purpose and destiny. The Center works in empowerment partnership with other social service agencies that focus on issues identified by individual residents.
With the spirit of "giving back", residents volunteer at various social service agencies and community activities i.e. snow removal and lawn care for area senior citizens. This process develops a strong work ethic.
The Eddie Washington Center accepts men who have a sincere desire and motivation to change their lifestyle. Eligibility for the program is determined through an interview with a case manager and documentation of their homelessness. Basic entry requirements include - 18 years old or older, drug and alcohol free, have at least 90 days of clean time and employable. Call (847) 244-0805 for information or to initiate the intake process.
The National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty estimated that in 1996, 1.2 million persons experienced homelessness. According to the 1996 U.S. Conference of Mayor's Report, single men currently comprise approximately 45% of the homeless population, 38% are families with children, 14% are single women, and 3% are unaccompanied youths. The major trends that can be responsible for the large numbers of homeless are the lack of affordable housing, history of substance abuse, inadequate wages, mental illness and insufficient jobs . In addition low rent units are disappearing from the market, while there is constant increase of low income persons. Housing assistance programs were inadequate to meet the growing demand for assistance.