PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Dream Center Peoria dedicates its services to investing in the area’s homeless population, and Kristy Schofield, the director of homeless and housing, is spearheading the mission.
Schofield is the winner of the Remarkable Women contest.
“Homelessness can be a circle. It can happen and you’ll see it generationally in families where one generation has stints in this homeless shelter to this one. We want to break that cycle,” Schofield said.
Dream Center guests sit in the presence of an advocate dedicated to ensuring permanent housing.
“25 years ago, I was homeless, and I was sleeping in my car with my two children who were three and four at the time and I began to realize that if this can happen to me, it can happen to anyone,” Schofield said.
From homeless to housing director, Schofield is a product of the very programs she now leads.
“I was suffering from a depression that was so deep and so dark that I was not functional, as a person or a parent. [These programs] gave me my life back,” Schofield said.
“When someone is staying here at the Dream Center if they don’t think they have someone cheering for them, they do have someone cheering for them, and that would be Kristy,” said Volunteer Director for the Dream Center Sherri Earnst.
Collaborating with other city leaders, Schofield has encouraged portable amenities to help Peorians where they are.
“We have a shower truck, a bathroom truck. We have a food truck. We’re going to provide all free food to people living in poverty out on the street and a washing machine truck,” Schofield said.
Schofield is emulating generous deeds once given during her time of need. Dream Center Peoria is a faith-based not-for-profit located in downtown Peoria. Its shelter is the only 24/7 emergency sanctuary for women, children, and families.