News and Updates
Facing Forward Names New Executive Director and Board President
Facing Forward is excited to announce the hiring of a new Executive Director, Rev. Douglas Bradshaw, and the election of a new President of the Board of Directors, Sean D. Auton. The agency would like to thank former Executive Director, William Johnson, who retired this earlier this month after leading the agency for the last nine years. Additionally, we would also like to thank outgoing Board President, Joseph A. Zarlenga, for his leadership and guidance while serving on Facing Forward's Board.

The agency's new Executive Director, Rev. Douglas Bradshaw (pictured above), previously serving River Glen Presbyterian Church in Naperville, has a background in community outreach, leadership development, fundraising and strategic planning. Additionally, Rev. Bradshaw served on the Facing Forward Board of Directors for six years. He served on the Board Development Committee, acted as liaison between residents and Board, and served for three years as Secretary.

Facing Forward’s new Board President, Sean D. Auton (pictured above), has served on the Board of Directors for two years and is a partner at Horwood Marcus & Berk where he chairs the Business and Finance Group. Mr. Auton's clients are predominantly high-growth companies, ranging from start-ups to more established entities. He has in-depth experience structuring or restructuring organizations, helping leaders find and create the optimal structure to meet their objectives, whether it's for the purpose of encouraging growth and investment or for taking the best advantage of tax laws.

Cooking and Nutrition Program
Congratulations to all the women that completed the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Cooking School. The program teaches the women about healthy cooking and nutrition options and is provided by the University of Illinois Extension program.

Sanctuary Place's cooking and nutrition program graduates along with the instructors.

Thank You to Resurrection University College of Nursing

Facing Forward would like to thank the ladies from Resurrection University College of Nursing for their donation to Facing Forward. We look forward to partnering with you again soon!

Facing Forward's Homeless Experience
On August 15th, Facing Forward hosted a "homeless experience" for the middle schoolers and some parents from First Presbyterian Church of Lake Forest, a long-time supporter of Facing Forward.

The educational experience is designed to simulate in a small way the difficulties and obstacles that Chicago's homeless face as they work to rebuild their lives and find permanent housing. Participants must navigate the shelter system, work to gain identification and proper documentation, take their children to school, find gainful employment and work toward their ultimate goal of securing permanent housing for their family.

It was a rewarding experience for Facing Forward as well as all the participants. Some photos of the day are available here.

Below are some comments from a few participants-

What did you learn from the experience?
"Being homeless is exhausting, frustrating, confusing and frightening." - 6th grader

"I learned that it is very difficult to go from being homeless to having a job and finding a new home." - 7th grader

What was most frustrating about the experience?
"Figuring out exactly what you needed to be able to get a job, ID card, etc. It was really hard when you just don't know where to go for help." - parent

"There is so much you need to do but it so hard when you have to take care of your children and then try to find a job. There was never enough time!" - 8th grader

Facing Forward provides this experience for groups of all ages. If you are interesting in learning more about our homeless experience, please contact Chad at or call 773-265-1207

Facing Forward and First Eagle Honored by FHLB
Facing Forward was honored by the Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) at its regional meeting November 2nd. The organization received $10,000 in recognition of its partnership with First Eagle Bank to assist formerly homeless women and children in their efforts to imrpove their lives and end the cycle of homelessness. First Eagle Bank ( offers Facing Forward clients Smart Money Management workshops to assist them with improving their financial literacy and help them on their way to self-sufficiency. Clients receive the knowledge and skills they need to successfully manage their money, open checking and savings accounts, create monthly and household budgets, and repair or establish credit.

The following documents are available by request through Rev. Douglas Bradshaw:
• Audited Financial Statements
• Form 990
• Form AG990-IL
• Governing Documents, including Conflict of Interest Policy