Mattoon Area P.A.D.S. Public Action to Deliver Shelter


Mattoon Area P.A.D.S. INC., a not for profit organization, provides safe and hospitable shelter, supportive services, and advocacy in order to assist homeless or at risk individuals and families to achieve a higher level of self sufficiency in collaboration with religious and community groups.

Program Aspects:

  1. Emergency Shelter: Providing safe shelter to those in need :
  2. Soup Kitchen: Serving three meals a day to anyone that is in need of food.
  3. Case Management: We meet with each individual staying at our location minimally once a week to provide counseling, life coaching, and advocacy.
  4. Day Program: Partnering with other community agencies, classes and volunteer opportunities are provided for those staying at the shelter to develop their workforce skills and increase their self-sufficiency.

Soup Kitchen:

*Breakfast- 6:30 a.m.

*Lunch- 11:00 a.m. (12:00 on Sunday)
Sack lunch is provided to the community every Friday at 11:00 am.

*Dinner- 7:00 p.m.


In 2001 concerned citizens gathered to find a solution to homelessness and hunger in our area. With the support of the community they decided to form a non-profit called Mattoon Area PADS (Public Action to Deliver Shelter). The current building was purchased in 2002. PADS officially opened in January of 2003 and the kitchen followed in December 2003.


General Needs:

Non-Perishable food items are always welcome. Also we are always in need of several household items such as toilet paper, cleaning supplies, paper towels, plastic silverware and personal hygiene supplies for both men and women. Items can be dropped off on weekdays during the business hours of 9:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. Donations can also be accepted after 6:00 p.m. when volunteers and night staff are here. See the sidebar on the top right for an updated list of our current needs.

Monetary Donations:

PADS is only partially supported through state funding. We rely on the generous contributions of our community to truly make a difference in the lives of those in need. Monetary donations help PADS get needed supplies, pay staff, and maintain our facility. Contributions can be made by check to “Mattoon Area PADS” or if you would like to give online or by credit/debit card.



Lunch: 10:00 am to 12:00 pm
Dinner: 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm

Job Description:
Prepare and serve the evening meal. We have a full kitchen and stocked pantry. You can create your own meal plan or ask us to create one for you. This would be a great opportunity for a group of friends looking to volunteer together.


6:00 pm to 11:00 pm

Job Description:
Sign in the guests and supervise for the evening until the overnight staff arrives. Things slow down after dinner, so you may study, read, or use our internet. We also have games available that can be played with guests! You will be trained and partnered with an experienced volunteer.

If you are not sure which position would suit you best just fill out the Volunteer Sign-Up form and someone will contact you and explain our different volunteer positions.


Doors open at 7 p.m. Please try to arrive before 9 p.m. Overnight guests have access to laundry and shower facilities. PADS has separate sleeping areas for men and women, and can accommodate small children and infants. Wake-up time is 6 a.m. and breakfast is served. PADS is a drug and alcohol free facility. Guests under the influence of drugs/alcohol may not be permitted to stay. The shelter has other rules for guests that are posted at the site. If you need a place to sleep, please come! We are here to serve. You may call the shelter weekdays at 217-234-7237 during the business hours of 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. to talk to staff and see if there are any open beds.

Length of stay at the shelter is based on individuals zip code from their current identification. Please call the shelter to find out more details on the length of stay policy.

Registered sex offenders, parolees and anyone with outstanding warrants is NOT allowed to stay at the shelter. A background check conducted by Mattoon Police Department is done on everyone wanting to stay overnight.

Board of Directors

Meet Our Staff

Michael Stopka

Michael is the current Executive Director of Mattoon Area PADS. Prior to joining PADS Michael worked as an abuse, neglect and exploitation investigator with Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.

He received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Master of Arts in Gerontology from Eastern Illinois University. Michael was born in Poland and moved to Chicago with his family in 1998. He decided to make Charleston his home after graduating from Eastern.

Michael is a member of Knights Columbus Council 8713 and attends Newman Catholic Center. He is also a member of the Mattoon Lions Club. In his free time Michael enjoys spending time outside either by taking his dog Maya out for walks or fishing.

Dana Tell

Dana is the current Shelter Services Coordinator. Prior to joining PADS, she interned with The Salvation Army in 2013, and PADS in 2015. She has also taken foster to adopt classes (IMPACT) in Georgia.

She received her Bachelor of Science in Family and Consumer Sciences at Eastern Illinois University. She also has an Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice from Lake Land College. Dana graduated from Mattoon High School.

Dana is a member of the Mattoon Eagles. She attends the Charleston Community Church. In her free time, she enjoys boating and fishing.

Contact Us

Please Call: 217-234-7237