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.

| Lunch Program | Housing Information Seminar
Computer Classes
| Food Pantry | Share Shop
Supportive Services | Sunday Night Supper
Volunteer Opportunities | Contact Information


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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Lunch Program

Receive lunches in the Loggia

  • Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday from 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m.
  • One bag lunch per week
  • Guests may be registered during this time
  • A resource information table is available

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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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Sunday Night Supper

Hosted in Fourth Church’s Anderson Hall

  • Guests are invited in at 4:00 p.m.
  • Health services available at 4:00 p.m.
  • Sunday Night Social Support Group meets at 4:00 p.m. in the Randolph Room
  • Dinner is served at 5:00 p.m.; guests must be seated at that time in order to
    receive their meal.

All are invited to participate in afternoon jazz worship at 4:00 p.m. in the Sanctuary.

For more information about Sunday Night Supper and other evening suppers,
click here.

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Volunteer Opportunities

Sunday Night Supper at the Elam Davies Social Service Center is an opportunity for community members to help serve the homeless. Dinner begins at 4:00 p.m. in Borwell Dining Room; volunteers are asked to come at 1:00 p.m. to help prepare and serve the meal.

Sandwich making opportunities are offered often. Many Fourth Church fellowship and enrichment programs participate in these events. For more information, contact Dan Hula (312.981.3567).

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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