A local homeless shelter now offers a more cheerful atmosphere and more privacy, thanks to new curtains and room dividers provided by an Eastern Illinois University class.
The 16 members of Katie Shaw’s clothing construction class spent at least 10 hours this semester measuring, shopping for material, sewing and hanging the curtains for the Public Action to Deliver Shelter facility in Mattoon.
“It was nice for them to be able to visit and see where their work was going to,” Shaw said.
Curtains made of heavyweight, bright-colored material were placed on a door and four windows. In addition, eight large curtains serve as room dividers.
“They’re wonderful,” said Donna Ayers, the shelter’s case manager, who is a recent graduate of EIU. “I really, really appreciate it. They just really brighten the place up. The girls did a wonderful job.”
Shaw’s husband, Clint, also volunteered to help put the curtains up. Katie Shaw said everybody involved was happy to have an opportunity to help out.
“The girls would probably even do this even it weren’t a class project,” Shaw said.
Members of the class are Deborah Appleby of Atwood; Kirsten Schumann of Bloomington; Alycia Beranek and Cody Facklam, both of Chicago; Kari Koontz of Flora; Megan Potthast of Greenville; Jenna Shike of Hoffman Estates; Megan Bergschneider of Jacksonville; Jillian Decker and Katie Smith, both of Neoga; Julie Goldman of New Lenox; Melissa Kocher of Olney; Katie Bingham and Amy Faxel, both of Orland Park; Stefanie Reeve of Palatine; and Courtney Kramer of Shelbyville.
PADS is always in need of donations and volunteers, Ayers said.
On average, PADS serves meals to 10 people a day and provides overnight shelter for nine at its building at 2017 Broadway Ave., Mattoon.
Shelter employees and volunteers provide food, food stamps, medication, a bag of personal hygiene items, and job-search assistance.
“Anything we can do to help them get on their feet, we do,” Ayers said.