CHICAGO — It’s been a particularly bitter winter for Shantel Gartley and his two teenage sons.
The family first lost a mother to gun violence and then lost their apartment.
“We were just living on the streets and hoping nothing bad happened to us,” Gartley said.
When two of Chicago’s powerhouse non-profits, Digs with Dignity and Dion’s Chicago Dream, learned of the family’s situation, they went to work. They first secured the family an apartment and then, with the financial assistance and muscle power of the Chicago Blackhawks Foundation, a truck full of furniture was unloaded into it.
Empty rooms were transformed into a home.
“None of us would be here without the help of everybody,” Dion Dawson, CEO of Dion’s Chicago Dream, said. “That’s why we call it a movement.”
For the family it made for a homecoming long overdue and a reminder, that there are plenty in this city that care.
“For a long time I didn’t feel like anybody even cared,” Gartley said. “Now we have a place that feels like home.”
Along with beds, couches and a kitchen full of cooking supplies, the family received their first weekly 10 lb. box of fresh produce delivered by Dion’s Chicago Dream.
“I know what it feels like to wake up and feel forgotten, to wake up hungry. I want these people to know they are not forgotten,” Dawson said.