Grundy Area PADS unveils new office on Division Street

The Grundy County Chamber of Commerce, City of Morris, and Grundy Area PADS cut the ribbon on the new location at 1409 N. Division St. on Tuesday.

Grundy Area PADS officially has a new office inside what was a dentist’s office at 1409 N. Division St. in Morris.

It celebrated its grand opening June 11 with a ribbon-cutting from the Grundy County Chamber of Commerce inside the new building, which was freshly updated with the help of many volunteers.

Executive Director Janice Grant said Habitat for Humanity helped by putting in a wheelchair ramp, and board President David Tidball said a lot of people came through elsewhere.

“There’s a lot of people helping in other places, especially decorating the apartments for the people, donating all of the furniture for the houses,” Tidball said. “Instead of moving into an empty apartment, they’re moving into a fully furnished apartment right down to the shower curtains.”

Grant said PADS is accepting donations but doesn’t currently have the capacity to accept clothing. However, things such as furniture are helpful.

The new Grundy Area PADS location at 1409 N. Division St.

“Our mission is to end homelessness in any way, shape or form,” Tidball said. “Anybody can wind up in, you know, one bad term. It can happen to a lot of us, so we’re here to help. Our goal is to take them from homeless to self-sufficient.”

Grant said 56% of Americans are two paychecks away from homelessness, and many don’t realize homelessness happens in small communities. Homelessness happens, even in Morris and Grundy County. Grundy Area PADS has helped 34 people get into their own apartments.

“I think right now, what we’re seeing is more than anything is senior citizens,” Grant said. “They’re on a fixed income and rent is increasing, so they’re getting priced out of housing. We also get a lot of young families. So our mission is to end homelessness, but the working mission is to help anyone experiencing homelessness in the Grundy County area.”

Grant said that means providing referrals to other places that can help if PADS cannot, such as We Care of Grundy County or a food pantry. In regard to rehousing people, PADS eligibility requirements state that people eligible for housing programs must be homeless, and PADS is required to prioritize giving first opportunities to those who have been homeless the longest.

“In Grundy County, homelessness seems to be more of a housing problem,” Grant said. “We have more people who need housing than there is availability of a rental.”

Grundy Area PADS operates from mid-October to mid-April. To be eligible, a person must be a Grundy County citizen and homeless. PADS received 207 requests for shelter from fall 2023 to spring 2024, and 39% of those requests were Grundy County citizens. The average cost to provide 1,381 nights of safe, warm shelter for Grundy County citizens cost an average of $29 per night.

“I would like to take this opportunity to note that the need for emergency shelter in Grundy County has quadrupled in the last three years,” Grant said. “More than three out of four of the shelter seekers were employed or on a fixed income, and they could either not afford the increased rent prices in our community or were unable to find available units. For Grundy County citizens, the data certainly seems to indicate homelessness is a housing issue.”

For information on Grundy Area PADS, visit

Michael Urbanec

Michael Urbanec

Michael Urbanec covers Grundy County and the City of Morris, Coal City, Minooka, and more for the Morris Herald-News