Elam Davies Social Service Center

Welcome to the Chicago Lights Elam Davies Social Service Center (EDSSC).
We welcome and support adults in times of need by offering individual supportive service assistance, including food, clothing, and referrals to other social service agencies.

Specific programs are offered to meet specialized needs, including computer classes and housing seminars.

For thirty years the Center has carried out the vision of former Fourth Presbyterian Church Pastor Elam Davies: to serve those in need with dignity and respect. Our success is sustained by well-structured, responsive programs, which are described below.

Christmas Gift Bags
Hours | Housing Information Seminar
Computer Classes
| Food Pantry
Share Shop | Supportive Services
Volunteer Opportunities | Contact Information

Christmas Gift Bags
   for Social Service Center Guests

Toiletries and other small items for gift bags are being collected for guests of the Elam Davies Social Service Center. Items are to be donated in sturdy grocery or shopping bags and dropped off at the reception desk by Sunday, December 7. Grocery and shopping bags will then be recycled for the EDSSC Consumer Choice Food Pantry and Share Shop clothing closet. Once the toiletries and other items are collected and sorted, they will be put into holiday bags and then distributed to guests.

The deadline to drop off items is Sunday, December 7. Please drop off at the reception desk and attach a note to the bag indicating that the donation is for the Christmas Gift Bag Project.

Looking for ways to get the entire family involved?

  • Go shopping as a family to pick out the items.
  • Decorate Christmas cards or draw pictures that will be put in each bag.
  • Create a table decoration to be used for a holiday community meal.

Each Christmas Bag will contain one of the following:
(gender-neutral products preferred)

  • Full-size deodorant
  • Travel-size shampoo
  • Travel-size lotion
  • Full-size toothbrush
  • Full-size toothpaste
  • Full-size bar of soap
  • Crew socks
  • Disposable razors
  • Can opener
  • Winter hat, gloves, scarf
  • Emergency rain poncho (thin/disposable type)
  • Hard candy

For more information, contact Abby Farnham (312.274.3827).

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9:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday

Closed from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. Monday through Friday for staff lunch

Closed from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. Tuesdays for staff meeting

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Housing Information Seminar

  • No appointment necessary
  • Seminar is a prerequisite to receiving an individual housing information appointment
  • Topics covered include
              Subsidized housing
              Single-Room Occupancy (SRO)
              Affordable housing
              Available resources

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Computer Classes

Hosted at the EDSSC

  • Class registration required
  • Six-week course meeting once a week
    for an hour or three-week course
    meeting twice a week for an hour
  • Creating Documents classes cover—
               Literacy, spelling, grammar, and proficiency in Microsoft Word
  • Getting to Know the Computer class:
               Introduction to the computer, basic Microsoft Word, and the Internet

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Food Pantry

By appointment only

  • Groceries provided for guests
  • Eligibility is once every two months
  • Cooking limitations and dietary restrictions accommodated
  • Through Consumer Choice, guests are given a shopping list and volunteer aide to guide them as they fill their cart with the allotted number of items they’d like from the pantry

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Share Shop (Clothing Closet)

By appointment only

  • 20-minute sessions for the clothing closet
  • 2 shopping bags provided
  • Eligibility is every two months

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Supportive Services

  • Referrals to other social service agencies; proper documentation may be required
  • Health-related referrals
  • Employment training resources
  • Assistance with public benefits application available by appointment

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Volunteer Opportunities

Donations of new and used clothing, nonperishable food items, clean towels, toiletries, and more are gladly accepted by the Social Service Center. To contribute any of these items, contact Dan Hula (312.981.3567).

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Contact Information

          126 E. Chestnut Street
          Chicago, IL 60611.2014

          312.787.2729, ext. 2222




Social Service Center Photos

Monday Night and Sunday Night Christmas Suppers | December 2011

More information about the Elam Davies Social Service Center is available on the Chicago Lights website or by contacting Dan Hula (312.981.3567), Director of the EDSSC.

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