When Rolling Meadows, Ill. Store Director Jasmine Edwards began to prep her store team for their second annual Meijer Team Gives donation last fall, she encouraged them to think big and look for organizations that are enriching lives in their community all year long. After gathering suggestions and taking a vote, the overwhelming decision by the entire team was JOURNEYS | The Road Home, a well-loved community organization that was also in the process of expanding.
Jasmine and the Rolling Meadows store chose to donate their entire allotted $10,000 to JOURNEYS, located just three 3 miles from the store in nearby Palatine. Founded in 2001, JOURNEYS provides shelter, services and housing to those at risk of or experiencing homelessness in 37 towns in north and northwest suburban Cook County. In 2022, the organization built an entirely new facility to expand their services and reach more members of the community.
The Rolling Meadows Meijer team took a tour of the new JOURNEYS facility back in November while it was under construction to get an understanding of the mission and how the expansion would help the community, as well as to understand the overwhelming need for the services JOURNEYS provides.
Though homelessness often goes unseen in suburban communities, JOURNEYS served more than 800 clients experiencing homelessness or at risk of becoming homeless in 2022, with the goal of helping clients achieve independence while also serving the community. By providing free services and critical support for a group of people who are often marginalized and without a safety net, the organization offsets costs typically absorbed by hospitals, municipalities, and legal systems.
“I challenged the team to think beyond the holiday season this year, and really look at how we can make an impact that continues all year long,” Jasmine said. “It was humbling to see the services that are so badly needed here in our community, and our team was so excited for this opportunity to enrich lives in such a big way.”
JOURNEYS moved into its new facility in December 2022 and is now able to serve more members of the community in need through their various programs, which include the HOPE Day Center, the PADS shelter program and the Pathways Housing Readiness Program.
“We are still in shock over the generosity from Meijer!” said Beth Nabors, JOURNEYS Executive Director. “JOURNEYS works tirelessly every day to stabilize lives and much of our work goes unnoticed, so when unsolicited support and recognition comes our way, it moves us beyond words.”
Looking to the future, JOURNEYS has big plans to continue serving the community, including adding a year-round shelter system and a comprehensive affordable housing program. The organization is looking for volunteers to help with the expanded services, providing visible, hands-on action and broadening community awareness and involvement.
“The love and support we feel from Meijer re-energizes our spirit and desire to continue working to help those less fortunate,” Nabors continued. “Thank you, Meijer for being the community partner we all wish to have!”