Independence Day $50,000 Matching Opportunity

As Independence Day approaches, Pillars invites you to celebrate “Independence Together.” For those experiencing homelessness, independence takes many shapes. Your gift allows clients to build independence across Pillars programs.

The Single Room Occupancy (SRO) program is one example. SRO empowers clients to find self-sufficiency. It serves as a steppingstone, guiding individuals from shelter to independent, permanent housing.

SRO tenants are carefully selected from our shelters and offered affordable rent in one of Pillars’ five SRO homes. Each client has their own bedroom and shares common spaces with their roommates. Independence doesn’t have to mean being alone. Together, they can build a garden, cook and share meals, play games, and foster a supportive environment that feels like home.

Your support gives people like Marty* opportunities for independence. Marty recently moved into an SRO home with two people she befriended while staying at Pillars Adult Shelter. On move-in day, Marty and the others excitedly discussed their plans to grill out together. Independence for them means unifying as one household and supporting each other.

At Pillars, our people are our programs. While clients find independence together, they also do it side by side with staff. Your support ensures SRO tenants receive ongoing case management and more freedom, independence, and responsibility

SRO Case Manager Meghan says, “SRO is that second chance our clients need to get back up on their feet and on their own. The program guides clients through their goals and teaches them self-sufficiency.”

For Brian*, moving into an SRO home was a breath of fresh air after living in close quarters with others in the shelter. Independence for him means his own space and the freedom and time to plant flowers in the yard.

Brian stayed at the Pillars Adult Shelter for a few months before moving into his current SRO house. This affordable housing solution is helping him get back on his feet and build a positive rental history as he works toward paying off debt.

On average, a one-bedroom apartment in the Fox Valley rents for $1,080 monthly. Your generosity means SRO tenants pay a flat rate of $300 per month, including utilities. This model has all participants paying 30% or less of their monthly income, allowing them to plan for their next steps and reach their goals.

“I’ve been paying my debts, I’ve been paying all my bills, I’ve been making rent on time, I’ve been budgeting the best that I can,” said SRO tenant Sarah*. “So, that’s a tool I’ve learned: how to budget. Or even just cleaning. Cleaning my room, making sure my lunch is made, and making sure my sheets are washed. No one else is going to keep up on that. I have to do it myself.”

After leaving a relationship, Sarah went to Pillars Adult Shelter and was later selected for an SRO home. Sarah is grateful the SRO program has taught her how to be responsible and accountable during her battle with addiction and mental illness. “I have an actual plan for the first time ever,” said Sarah. “I have a two-year plan. I have goosebumps! I’ve never really planned out my future before.”

When you give to Pillars, your support allows clients like Marty, Brian, and Sarah to learn independent living skills in programs like SRO. Thanks to an anonymous donor, your gift will be doubled up to $50,000 if you give by Independence Day. Please give today, and please give generously.


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