Talent at McHenry County PADS

john-storyBy Sarah Mathe

Homelessness can happen to anyone. Meet John, 38, who is originally from the Philippines. As a child, he learned how to draw by copying pictures from a phone book. Eight years ago, he received his visa and moved to Algonquin to live with his sister and her family. As time passed, the family’s resources were exhausted and John found himself homeless. With nowhere to go he wandered the streets.

On a cold, dark night opportunity found him in the form of McHenry County PADS. There he found a warm bed, food and was provided the tools and encouragement to regain his independence. Through hard work and persistence, John began rebuilding his life, all the while nourishing his creative side through drawing.

In appreciation for the hard work of the PADS staff, he even drew their “alter-ego” superhero caricatures.

Currently, John cleans a clinic at night and spends his days drawing amazing art work and caricatures.

When asked to sum up the PADS program, here is what John had to say, “PADS gives you the tools to help yourself. It teaches you that you have to be willing to do the work.” Someday, John hopes to work at Six Flags Great America doing caricatures. For now, he draws freelance comics for companies when the opportunity arises and continues to work his way out of homelessness.


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