Elgin Wayside Center

Elgin Wayside Center


The Wayside Center in Elgin is a place where the church can connect with the homeless and needy in their community. Guests come to the Center for food, clothing, and laundry – but receive much more! They are connected with counselors, Bible studies and programs that can lead them to a godly and growing life.

Since 1993, the Wayside Center in Elgin has been transforming the lives of the hurting and needy. With the help of faithful volunteers, the Wayside Center helps over 200 individuals every month with practical, life-altering services. As a daytime shelter, the Center operates a job skills program, life skills classes, a job liaison program and one-on-one mentoring relationships while providing lockers, showers, laundry services, meals, two daily Bible studies and personal motivational case management.

Elgin Wayside Center’s program includes:

  • Weekly meetings with a Case Manager to explore personal opportunities and options
  • Shower and laundry privileges
  • Secure locker for personal belongings
  • Spiritual guidance and encouragement

Other programs include:

  • One-to-One Mentoring
  • The Achievement Program provides daily training in work ethics to prepare for re-entering the work force
  • The Discipleship House, a home facility in Elgin, involving a family environment, Bible study, counseling, and mandatory employment
  • The DuPage Initiative is a 3-month project during the winter months to provide services to the homeless in DuPage County in collaboration with local churches


Phil Wood, Director

Phone: 847-695-4405
Fax: 847-695-4657
Email: pwood@waysidecross.org


Pat’s Story

EWC-Story-Pat“Wayside literally saved my life – the love and acceptance I received at Wayside was the start of a new life!”

It’s been over eight years now since Pat left a life of lies and self-destruction…drugs and prostitution. Her story is truly a testimony of God’s amazing power to transform a life.

After growing up in an abusive home…followed by three failed marriages, in her mid-30’s Pat turned to drugs and prostitution to numb the pain. Her lifestyle ultimately lead her to spend time in prison – where upon release, she found herself alone and homeless.

For two weeks, in the heart of winter, Pat lived on the streets before discovering the Elgin Wayside Center. It was there, she encountered compassion and acceptance – along with a hot shower, clean clothes and food! That day marked the beginning of a journey to a new life and discovering Jesus. Along her journey, Pat met a godly man who saw the beautiful woman inside – and he helped and waited for her to heal. She entered a rehabilitation program and one year later they were married. Today, Pat is dedicated to help those she meets at the Wayside Center where she regularly visits – those who are stuck along the path of pain and destruction she was once on.

Pat and David have their own home in Carpentersville and are members and active volunteers at the Greater Grace Church of Chicagoland. Pat works and uses her earnings to purchase needed items for Wayside’s clients.

Sharon’s Story

EWC-Story-SharonAfter the death of both her parents, Sharon lost her home and had no place to go. Depressed and confused she turned to the Elgin Wayside Center during the day—and P.A.D.S. by night.

During her time at Wayside she was a model guest…always keeping a good attitude and maintaining a positive influence on everyone around her. Yet she remained scared to step out and begin building a life without her parents. After a year at Wayside, both the staff and volunteers were able to encourage Sharon to take the next step by applying at Lifespring, Wayside Cross Ministries residential program for women. To the glory of God, today Sharon is growing in every way.