7th year in a row: Zumiez donates hundreds of jackets & winter wear

Most of us take for granted being able to put on a warm coat before we step outside this winter, but imagine if you couldn’t?

Thanks to the sports outerwear retailer Zumiez, CCH organizers have begun distributing warm jackets and winter wear to hundreds of homeless boys and teens, men and women with whom we work in Chicago. Please note: Coats are being distributed during shelter outreach by organizers, and not from CCH’s office.

CCH Organizing Staff (from left): Jim Field, Dollie Brewer, Rachel Ramirez, and Hannah Willage

CCH is very grateful for Zumiez generous support – Zumiez’s 7th annual shipment to CCH totaled 49 boxes. There are more than 300 jackets, 150 hoodies, 120 blankets, 180 caps and 72 pairs of both socks and gloves.  Continue reading 7th year in a row: Zumiez donates hundreds of jackets & winter wear

The Education Committee kick-starts its outreach program

The Homeless Education Committee at CCH held its second meeting on Monday to pave the way for the future course of action to ensure the rights of homeless students and their families.

CCH has done work around education and homeless families since 1997, but the work of the Education Committee is the first effort that has come out of grassroots organizing. Organizers have spent the last year in one-on-one meetings with parents, students, and educators. Eight listening sessions have been conducted at high schools, social service agencies, and shelters. Through this work organizers have identified leaders on the issue of education for homeless students. Now the committee is  beginning to shape the campaign that the committee will work to improve homeless students’ access to a quality education.  Continue reading The Education Committee kick-starts its outreach program

CCH supports the Chicago Teachers Union, its stand on issues affecting homeless students

Students coping with homelessness need strong and stable schools with adequate support services.  During the 2011/2012 school year, the Chicago Public Schools served 17,255 homeless students — children and teens whose hardships had them living doubled-up with others, or in shelters, motels and other temporary housing situations.  Continue reading CCH supports the Chicago Teachers Union, its stand on issues affecting homeless students

Back-to-School Time

It is back-to-school time and students without housing have special rights to school enrollment, transportation and fee waivers.

Eligible students include those who are:

  • sharing housing of others due to loss of housing, economic hardship or a similar reason
  • living in a shelter or transitional housing program
  • living in motels, hotels, trailer park or camping grounds due to lack of alternative adequate accommodations
  • living on the street, in a car or somewhere that people don’t usually live, or in substandard housing

Continue reading Back-to-School Time

Reentry Committee meets with CHA to propose Housing Choice pilot program

CCH’s Reentry Project organizes and advocates for access to housing for individuals with criminal backgrounds. Last Friday, the Reentry Project Committee had a major breakthrough in our collaboration with the Chicago Housing Authority, during a meeting with its CEO, Charles Woodyard.

From left to right, Bob Dougherty, Michael Peoples, Troy Harden, Pastor Charles Austin, Tony Lawery, Julie Dworkin, Pam Ward, Marie Claire Tran and Rachel Ramirez.

The Reentry Committee proposed a pilot CHA program that would offer a Reentry Provider Housing Certificate. This certificate would allow experienced reentry service providers to recommend individuals with criminal backgrounds for a Housing Choice Voucher. These select individuals would be able to proceed through the application process without barriers based on criminal background. Providers would grant certificates selectively to those who show great dedication to their community reentry process.  Continue reading Reentry Committee meets with CHA to propose Housing Choice pilot program

Governor signs human trafficking bill

I am excited to report that Gov. Pat Quinn signed a human trafficking reform bill into law – House Bill 5278 — on August 4. The state law clarifies the definition of sex trafficking to include traffickers who use coercive schemes and tactics to control and intimidate their victims. The clearer definition will allow for more effective prosecution of traffickers, which will result in greater protection for their prostituted victims.
This legislation marks the third bill in three years to be passed as part of End Demand Illinois, a campaign headed by the Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation.
As a partner in the End Demand campaign, CCH’s Prostitution Alternatives Round Table (PART) led the legislative advocacy to pass HB 5278. I keep a constant presence in Springfield during the legislative session, collaborating with allies and explaining the importance of the bill to legislators. Community organizer Rachel Ramirez works with prostitution survivors, bringing the women to Springfield to meet with legislators and testify at committee hearings.  Continue reading Governor signs human trafficking bill

CPS served 17,255 homeless students, a 10.7% increase

Chicago Public Schools (CPS) served a record number of homeless students in the school year that ended in June.

CPS identified 17,255 homeless students in 2011-12, a 10.7% increase from the prior year’s record, according to its office of Students in Temporary Living Situations.

The homeless enrollment included 3,005 unaccompanied youth – teens who were homeless without a family or guardian yet attending school.  Continue reading CPS served 17,255 homeless students, a 10.7% increase

WLS 890AM: Demonstrators Want G8 Money to go to Poor

March 6, 2012

Story by WLS 890AM reporter John Dempsey

CHICAGO (WLS) – Now that Chicago is not hosting the G8 Economic Summit, a group of community activists is calling for the money that was to be spent on the meeting, to go towards helping the poor.

About two dozen people demonstrated this morning in front of the State Street headquarters of the economic development group World Business Chicago, which Mayor Rahm Emanuel has designated to raise $65 million to pay the costs of the summit.

Protester Charles Jenkins told WLS that Chicago’s poor need that money to rebuild their communities:

“We feel that that money should go to help make our community safer, by creating some jobs that can take people off the streets”.

Jenkins and other activists tried unsuccessfully to secure a meeting with WBC officials. Despite the White House decision to move the G8 meetings to Camp David Maryland, Chicago will still host a meeting of NATO world leaders May 20th to 21st at McCormick Place.


(WLS 890AM Photo)

World Business Chicago: Move G-8 funds to jobs in Chicago neighborhoods

Good jobs are key to ending homelessness. That’s why CCH joined allies in the Grassroots Collaborative this morning to urge World Business Chicago and Mayor Emanuel to establish a $100 million Neighborhood Jobs Trust.

Their idea is to fund a Jobs Trust for Chicago by reallocating business donations given for social events at the G-8 Summit. Before it was announced Monday that the G-8 Economic Summit would no longer meet here this May, World Business Chicago raised more than $50 million. The non-profit was established at the behest of Mayor Emanuel.  Continue reading World Business Chicago: Move G-8 funds to jobs in Chicago neighborhoods