How Did We Get Here?
In 2015, Executive Director Sarah Galvan's vision became a lifelong commitment to bring awareness to our homeless, our needy, our poor, our hungry, and our broken.
The foundation mission of Almost Home is to alleviate the suffering of individuals and families in our communities where we can. More specifically, we are committed to helping single parents, victims of domestic violence, families and individuals experiencing true and significant financial hardship, and the homeless.
Now, as we continue to grow and reach more people, we need you. Almost Home is open to all assistance, whether through direct donation, business sponsorship, change drives in our local schools, community fundraisers, commitments to pledge, donations of non-perishable food items, personal hygiene items, and paper goods.
Your Almost Home Team
Sarah Galvan, Executive Director
Long before she panhandled her way to gather the $1200 needed to start her organization, Almost Home Founder and Executive Director Sarah Galvan knew she would spend her days ministering to the poor, the needy, the homeless, and the broken. Self-professed as shy, and not one for the limelight, Sarah is most comfortable bringing coffee and donuts to those on the streets, visiting with the residents of our bridge communities, and serving guests of our local shelters, bringing love to those who need it most. When not ministering to those in the streets and under the bridges, Sarah keeps busy as a wife to her husband, Adrian, and as a mother to their (lucky) seven children. If you ask Sarah why she does it - she will simply tell you that everyone needs help sometimes. Everyone.
Lara Batchelor, President
A 15 year resident of Evergreen Park, and mother of an Evergreen Park Community High School freshman, President Lara Batchelor has served on the Almost Home Board for over a year. Working on new and exciting outreach programs, Lara’s main focus is on building relationships with local businesses, schools, and scouting groups as she works to secure funding for the future of Almost Home - a permanent space to provide an expansive day center for the area homeless. An active member of the First United Methodist Church of Evergreen Park, Lara is also working with Reverend Paris to provide spiritual care services to our homeless population.
Christie Cox, Board Secretary
A long time employee of Marquette Bank, Almost Home Board Secretary Christie Cox, for the past 10 years, has headed the Marquette Bank Neighborhood Commitment program. The program focuses on shelter, hunger, education, and health & wellness. Through her work with the Neighborhood Commitment, Christie met Executive Director Sarah Galvan, and a friendship flourished. Drawn to the grassroots nature of Almost Home, Christie was driven to bring her extensive experience and resources to further their missions. In her leisure time, Christie can be found spending time with her family relaxing with her husband, Ben, or watching her children, Allison and Evan, at their sporting events. More than likely, you will see Christie chauffeuring them around town.
Patty Ellison, Outreach Director - Drug Prevention
Almost Home Drug Prevention Program Director Patty Ellison resides in Evergreen Park with her husband, Tom. Together, they have 4 children and 2 grandchildren. Patty and Tom lost their son, Aidan, to an opioid overdose in December of 2017 at the age of 22. Patty’s goal is to offer stigma-free services to those who are struggling with addiction, along with the families and loved ones of those in active addiction. Patty envisions Almost Home as a place where folks can come for support and guidance, as well as receive assistance in finding needed services. Patty’s first order of business is overdose prevention awareness and training community members in the use of Naloxone in the event of an opioid overdose emergency.
Reverend Larry Paris - Pastoral Care Minister
Reverend Paris has been a resident of Chicago’s south suburbs for the majority of his life. As an ordained minister in the United Methodist Church, he has a passion to share the love of God, the grace of Jesus Christ, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit with all of God’s children. A firm believer that there are no second-class children in God’s family, Reverend Paris brings the spiritual care that is lacking for those who live on the margins in our communities. Reverend Paris and Almost Home are equally delighted to work together to care for the spiritual needs of our clients.
Each member of the Almost Home team brings to the table the dedication and drive to make a difference in the lives of others. Each with their own personal connection to the foundation missions of Almost Home, the Board is able to work with their clients with compassion and understanding during their time of hardship. Many clients maintain their relationships with Almost Home long after their case has been concluded, because of their personal experience.
Because everyone needs help sometimes. Everyone.
What Does Our Future Hold?
Every day, we reach more people. Those who need help, and those who are willing to help.
To keep expanding our programs and service areas, we are going to need an official "home base".
This important part of our mission will serve as office space, as well as a safe place for our friends to come and take a shower, wash clothes, or simply take a load off for a while. Stocked with provisions, meals to go, and everyday items, this will be the hub from which all of our outreach will grow.
Further on down the line, we envision a storefront. Staffed with our friends experiencing homelessness who have a desire to transition back into society, this is the most important thing we can do - help our neighbors find their confidence while we support and guide them toward an independent life.