Housing Forward to host mysterious fundraising event


Alex Aghayere

Housing Forward to host mysterious fundraising event

By Kendrah Villiesse

A ’20s-themed dinner event filled with flapper dresses and pinstriped suits will help celebrate Housing Forward’s 25th anniversary and raise money for the social service organization.

“Mystery & Mayhem,” is an interactive play with a “dress-up” theme and a challenge to “solve the crime of the century,” according to the organization.

The Oct. 22 event will also feature specialty-themed cocktails and a “mini sandwich and soup bar,” according to Amy Waddell, the event sales manager at Untitled, 111. W Kinzie St., where the event will take place.

“The theme of our space fits with the theme of their event because it’s like a murder-mystery feel,” Waddell said, adding that the supper club’s speakeasy-themedevents foster similar experiences that bring people together through food and music.

Janet Gow, director of Development and Communications for Housing Forward, which helps families transition from homeless or unstable living to permanent housingsaid the event will be an interactive and fun experience and encouraged everyone todress up.

“It bring[s] you back into the scene and the times of when there were mobs running Chicago in the ‘20s with prohibition,” said Gow.

The organization has raised $1,310 for the event as of press time. The money raised from the fundraiser will help the homeless find housing or and those without permanent housing find greater stability, Gow said. She added that the organization has 195 people scattered at housing sites across its service area.

Gow recalled one of Housing Forward’s 13,000 success stories a man named Theodore and his daughter, who were clients in the summer transitional shelter program in 2015. Theodore spent his nights sleeping in parks, a storage shed and even a graveyard, while looking for jobs to support himself and his daughter during the day.

Theodore then found Housing Forward, which helped him and his daughter get housing. Currently, Theodore is a student at Triton College, studying sustainable agriculture, Gow said.

However, the organization needs to raise more money to constinue its work, Gow said.

“Fundraising is essential for the survival of any nonprofit organization,” said Michelle Hunter, director of strategy and alignment at the Chicago Community Trust.

Not only does it benefit the organization by spreading its name out into the community and support its funds, but most organizations give back to the community, she added.

“We never lose sight of the reason why our support is so necessary,” Gow said.