Columbus Park to host event this weekend to help Chicago’s homeless, low-income residents

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Taste for The Homeless will kick off its annual winterfest event at 11 a.m. on Jan. 21st at Columbus Park, 500 S. Central.

Now in its sixth year, Taste for The Homeless’ Winterfest is a unique event designed to host members of Chicago’s homeless and low-income communities — offering them a day of fun and entertainment, while also providing them with life’s essentials.

“With the help of the Chicago Park District, we plan to give participants a day they won’t forget,” said Chef Michael Airhart, founder of Taste for The Homeless. “Every year we plan this event, and our Summerfest event on the South Side, with the idea of providing people with life’s essentials. This includes groceries, clothing, health screenings, workforce development resources and connecting them with other social services they may need. Everything is free.”

While shelters and social service agencies arrange transportation for participants, walk-in guests are also welcome to attend the event, whose theme this year is “roll, bounce.”

“We believe life shouldn’t just be about what you need. Sometimes we should also be able to get things that may not be necessities in the strictest sense of the word, but are still needed. So we try to give our guests a day of fun, and one where they can relax and enjoy themselves,” Airhart explained.

“This year that means roller skating along with musical entertainment provided by several local DJs. We will also have a kid zone for learning and playing, a beautification room for haircuts and hairstyling and a food court.”

Taste For The Homeless’ sixth annual Winterfest is sponsored by Conscious Alliance and United Pharmacy Staffing.

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