COOL Ministries
Feb 14, 2024
Mindy Lindholm, Exec Director, COOL Ministries
COOL Ministries

Mindy Lindholm is the Executive Director of COOL Ministries. She previously worked for COOL as the Transitional Housing Case Manager and has been a part of the COOL family for over eight years. She is a wife and a mother to five children.  She was born and raised in Lake County and is a graduate of  the College of Lake County and Northeastern Illinois University. She has degrees in Psychology and Social Work and feels blessed to continue serving the people of Lake County through COOL Ministries.

COOL Ministries is a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization, was founded by people from six Lutheran Churches in the Waukegan/North Chicago area in 1982 and incorporated as a not-for-profit organization in 1983. The First program was the COOL Food Pantry, opening its doors in January 1983.

The pantry provides food for breakfast, lunch and dinner along with specialty foods for cardiac and diabetic diets. We offer ethnic foods and foods for those with allergies.

Since the recession in this decade began visitation to the COOL Food Pantry has nearly doubled.  In 2011 the Pantries served 39,709 individuals with food enough for 476,508 balanced meals. In 2015 visitation grew resulting in a total of 72,391 individuals receiving food from COOL. That is enough food to make 868,692 meals! Although the economy is improving COOL services are still in high demand. In 2016 more than 67,000 individuals received groceries from the COOL Pantries.

Our pantry is supported by the entire Lake County community including churches, individuals, Waukegan Community Development Block Grant, corporate and foundation grants and many others. COOL programs are also supported by the United Way of Lake County.

COOL began the Transitional Housing Program in October of 1988. The purpose of this Family Housing Program is to provide housing and case management to homeless families in need of life re-structuring. Along with case management , COOL provides a clean, safe place to live, counseling, life skills training and other support services which collectively work to enable guest families to transform their lives and make a smooth progression toward self-sufficient living. COOL provides rent and utility paid housing for up to 12 months while families work to save enough money for a home down payment or first and last months rent upon leaving the program.

Guest families must be motivated to follow their individual goals plan in order to reach success in every category of their lives. Families must maintain a job, save money, receive counseling, attend money management classes, and acquire better domestic skills and parenting skills. Following the policies and guidelines is mandatory and enables families to achieve successful problem solving skills, such as attaining dependable transportation and adequate childcare, allowing them to progress more quickly and achieve goals more rapidly.

Host: Randy Daniel