Interfaith Action of Evanston has launched an effort to assess the services available to hungry and homeless people in Evanston and their unmet needs.

Joey Rodger, chair of the group’s Community Discovery Project advisory committee, told the city’s Housing and Homelessness Commission Thursday evening that Interfaith Action has retained an Executive Service Corps consulting team, headed by Paul Brenner, to conduct the study.

She says the goals include compiling a directory of all services now available, an assessment of what services are needed based on interviews with hungry and homeless people and a list of services that are needed but aren’t now being provided.

The consultants are also expected to provide guidance on best practices for delivering such services and a guide to private and public funding sources.

Rodger says the organization hopes to complete its research by early next year.

She told the commission that many gatekeepers — pastors or church secretaries — don’t have adequate information now to know how to respond when somebody shows up and says they just got kicked out of their house.

She said the study will also help the Interfaith Action board know more about changes it may need to make in running its soup kitchen and shelter programs.

Rodger says persons with information or questions about the project can contact her at

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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