School fee waivers for homeless and low-income students

Now that the school year is coming to a close, students in Illinois look forward to special school activities, including graduation, senior luncheons and field trips.

Every year the Law Project receives many calls from low-income students and families who are being pressured by their schools to pay hundreds of dollars in fees before graduation or year-end.  Continue reading School fee waivers for homeless and low-income students

WCIA 3 News: Bill helps homeless teens seeking shelter

Bill helps homeless teens seeking shelter

Being underage can be a major obstacle when homeless teens seek an escape.

By Raquel Martin

According to the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless (CCH), every year around 25,000 young people find themselves homeless in the state. Without a safe place to go, many lawmakers believe their lives are put in danger.

It’s why they proposed a new bill allowing minors, from 16 – 18, to take advantage of transitional shelters without their parents’ permission.

Right now, minors must first be emancipated in order to use a shelter. Without a place to go, many are sleeping in places such as cars or other public spaces.

According to the CCH, about a third of homeless young people say they’ve left home because of physical abuse. Lawmakers who support the bill say they these shelters are safe alternative.

“You want a teenager, if they’re seeking help, to be able to access those services and programs that a shelter provides. I mean, you don’t want to jeopardize anybody’s safety by putting them back on the streets if they don’t have the proper permission. You want them to be safe,” says Steve Staldeman (D- Rockford).

The bill is facing some opposition. It passed the House 71 – 40 and now is awaiting a vote in the Senate. Some lawmakers are concerned the bill would encourage more minors to leave home.

There are dozens of transitional shelters for teens around the state. Each offers counseling services so children can ultimately reunite with their parents.

Those who support the bill say these shelters are not meant to be permanent solutions but a way to keep those vulnerable protected.

The Columbia Chronicle: Homeless lose refuge at Tent City

Mark Saulys, a resident of Tent City and organizer at One Northside, will benefit from the city’s housing pilot program and move into a home soon, he said. (Wesley Herold | Chronicle)

By Caroline Bowen, Metro Reporter

Below the busy Lake Shore Drive bridge over Wilson Avenue, snow and ice secures Mark Saulys’ tent to the cement. He has been homeless for more than a year but will trade his nylon walls for a sturdier home in a couple of weeks because of a city housing initiative, he said. 

“I’m worried for the people here, and I can see that they are worried about being tossed out,” Saulys said about his neighbors remaining in Uptown’s Tent City. 

Dozens of homeless people find refuge under the viaduct, which has often put them at odds with Chicago politicians. But construction slated to begin on the Lake Shore Drive bridges intersecting with Wilson Avenue and Lawrence Avenue this spring means time is dwindling for a place many call home, said Diane O’Connell, a staff attorney with the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless. 

Continue reading The Columbia Chronicle: Homeless lose refuge at Tent City

2017 Chicago Marathon Team to End Homelessness

Seven members of the 2017 Team to End Homelessness

CCH is proud to be an affiliate charity for the 2017 Bank of America Chicago Marathon on Sunday, October 8. We have recruited 13 runners to our Team to End Homelessness this year, and are still recruiting runners who obtained entry through the drawing.

Each of our runners will raise at least $1,000 from friends and family online in conjunction with their race training. You can donate in honor of our team hereContinue reading 2017 Chicago Marathon Team to End Homelessness

Thank You!

Thank you for signing up to learn more about the Associate Board! We’ll be in touch with you soon.

We hope you can join us at our next Associate Board meeting: 

Tuesday, December 12, 6:15-7:15 p.m.

Chicago Coalition for the Homeless offices: 70 E. Lake St., Suite 720

Tell your U.S. Senators: Jeff Sessions is not qualified to be Attorney General

no-sessionsPlease call your senators and members of the Senate Judiciary Committee with this message: 

Jeff Sessions is not qualified to be Attorney General. Please oppose his nomination.

Sessions’ long record demonstrates hostility to the enforcement of civil rights for people of color, immigrants, and women, including victims of domestic violence, people with disabilities, and the LGBT community.

 

If you live in Illinois, your U.S. Senators are: 

Richard J. Durbin: (202) 224-2152

Tammy Duckworth: (202) 224-2854

You can find your senators contact information HERE if you live outside of Illinois. 

 

Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee: 

Grassley, Chuck (R – IA) , Chairman: 202-224-3744

Feinstein, Dianne (D – CA), Ranking Member: (202) 224-3841

Hatch, Orrin G. (R – UT): (202) 224-5251

Graham, Lindsey (R – SC): (202) 224-5972

Cornyn, John (R – TX): (202) 224-2934

Lee, Mike (R – UT): (202) 224-5444

Cruz, Ted (R – TX): (202) 224-5922

Sasse, Ben (R – NE): (202) 224-4224

Flake, Jeff (R – AZ): (202) 224-4521

Crapo, Mike (R – ID): (202) 224-6142

Tillis, Thom (R – NC): (202) 224-6342

Kennedy, John (R – LA): (202) 224-4623

Leahy, Patrick J. (D – VT): (202) 224-4242

Durbin, Richard J. (D – IL): (202) 224-2152

Whitehouse, Sheldon (D – RI): (202) 224-2921

Klobuchar, Amy (D – MN): (202) 224-3244

Franken, Al (D – MN): (202) 224-5641

Coons, Christopher A. (D – DE): (202) 224-5042

Blumenthal, Richard (D – CT): (202) 224-2823

Hirono, Mazie K. (D – HI): (202) 224-6361

How to Help Those Experiencing Homelessness in the Cold

If you are asked for help by someone on the street, you should not hesitate to give them money, food, blankets, or other needed items if you have the means and the desire. We do not think there is any downside to helping people in all of these ways. But more importantly, make sure that whatever interaction you have is positive and respectful. If you cannot or do not want to give anything, you can still make eye contact, smile, and wish someone well. The key is to treat each person with the dignity and respect you would hope for if you were in that situation.

In addition to any immediate support you may decide to give, find organizations that do direct outreach to those experiencing homelessness on Chicago’s streets, provide overnight shelter, and/or permanent affordable housing and support their work. Below are some resources to research nonprofits you could support:

Nonprofits that work with the city of Chicago to address homelessness

Homeless and housing nonprofits throughout Illinois

More resources for the homeless in the cold weather