Newsmakers Making A Difference: Ryan Dowd, Hesed House

Craig Dellimore
April 24, 2018 - 9:02 am

Hesed House/Facebook

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Ryan Dowd has been Executive Director of the Aurora homeless shelter known as Hesed House for years, twice.

"I became executive director right out of law school, did it for about 10 years and then thought I wanted to be somebody else, moved out to Washington D.C. to work on international human rights. I worked out there for a couple of years and then the board called me and asked me if I'd come back. I was happy to get back to the Midwest," Dowd said.

Dowd is driven to try new, but proven ways to help end homelessness. Yes, it’s about giving people needed services, but at its core, he said, it’s about meeting each person’s needs in finding a home.

"There's a chicken and an egg thing here to a degree that sure mental health issues, and substance abuse issues might cause homelessnes, but homelessness also causes those things. And so housing for us has been really revolutionary," he said.

The Hesed House Board felt Ryan Dowd is just the one to move Hesed House forward, and he agrees.

"This place has definitely shaped who I am. And so I think in a lot of ways it's kind of made me into what it needs, if that makes sense," Dowd said.

It does.

Ryan Dowd, another newsmaker, making a difference.

As WBBM celebrates its 50th anniversary as Newsradio, this year we’ll be honoring 50 Newsmakers making a difference in the community.  Listen for reports each Tuesday.

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