Horizons outreach program showcases parent and child poets

Wayne Richard watches as Dionne Naize offers her poetry

Horizons creative writing workshop hosted 35 parents and children from two South Side shelters at its yearly poetry showcase, held June 20 at Chicago’s Intuit gallery, 756 N. Milwaukee Avenue.

Seven parents and three children shared their own poetry during a one-hour showcase.  Continue reading Horizons outreach program showcases parent and child poets

Announcing our 2017 college scholarship winners

The 2017-18 Scholars, (front, from left) Kristen Lang, Niani Scott, Mayra Fajardo, Avery Williams, Ayrianna Longs, Amber Rodriguez; (2nd row, from left), Jennessa Martinez, Edwin Casas, Jessica Lee, T’Prinn Ingram, Claudia Kubarycz-Hoszowska, Prince Washington, Dontay Lockett, Nia Hill (Not pictured: Kimberly Azpeitia, Catherine Jones, Cassandra Murff) Photo by Jeff Foy

Chicago Coalition for the Homeless and its Law Project has awarded renewable $2,500 college scholarships to four students who succeeded in high school while coping with homelessness. Funded by private donors and grants, CCH has awarded more than $270,000 to 55 students since 2004.

Scholarship winners Mayra Fajardo, Niani Scott, Prince Washington, and Avery Williams were honored at a public awards event on June 22.  Continue reading Announcing our 2017 college scholarship winners

June 14 media advisory: Homeless encampment residents to hold press conference outside mayor’s office to demand housing in advance of viaduct construction

Residents also demand that the design of the re-constructed viaducts does not intentionally exclude homeless individuals

WHAT: Press conference convened by homeless encampment residents of the viaducts at Lake Shore Drive at Wilson and Lawrence Avenues. Residents are responding to the Request for Proposals (RFP) that the city of Chicago recently released seeking to identify construction companies to perform the work on the viaducts later this summer.

Residents are calling on Mayor Emanuel to provide housing solutions given that the city will be evicting them from their homes to make way for viaduct construction. They are also demanding that the design of the viaducts not intentionally exclude homeless people. The RFP calls for 6-foot bike lanes and security fences.  Continue reading June 14 media advisory: Homeless encampment residents to hold press conference outside mayor’s office to demand housing in advance of viaduct construction

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

Record-sealing bill HB2373 goes to the governor

Updated May 30, 2017

Chicago Coalition for the Homeless (CCH) advocates reentry measures that would limit the barrier to jobs, housing and higher education that are triggered by a criminal background check.

A bill to expand record-sealing for most felonies, House Bill 2373, is being sent to the governor for consideration after passing the Illinois Senate with bi-partisan support (36-19) on May 30.

State Rep. Camille Lilly and State Sen. Don Harmon (both D-Oak Park) sponsor the measure. It passed the Illinois House, 80-34, on April 27.  Continue reading Record-sealing bill HB2373 goes to the governor

Thirty homeless youth helped at free legal aid and ID clinic

Thirty homeless Chicago youth needing legal aid or help obtaining their birth records received services April 26, during a two-hour clinic organized by the CCH Law Project.

The clinic was staffed by CCH’s Youth Futures mobile legal clinic and by 27 volunteers, including attorneys, from Chase Bank. Teen Living Programs, 5501 S. Indiana Avenue, hosted the event.

Attorneys helped youth, ages 13 through 24, apply for birth certificates. They also helped unaccompanied youth apply for public benefits, such as Medicaid and SNAP food benefits, and advised youth with other legal needs.

Continue reading Thirty homeless youth helped at free legal aid and ID clinic

Ed Shurna to be honored at April 30 event

Ed Shurna with a CCH scholarship winner, Kristen Lang, in 2014.

Chicago Coalition for the Homeless is proud to report that retired executive director Ed Shurna will be honored at an April Sunday brunch event benefitting the Harmony, Hope & Healing Choir.

The event will be Sunday, April 30, 12:30 p.m., at Galleria Marchetti, 825 W. Erie St., Chicago. Tickets to Heart Beat 2017 are available here.

Ed spent 45 years organizing in Chicago’s neighborhoods, including 20 years with CCH before retiring in 2015. He co-founded the Ignatian Spirituality Project and helped organize Chicago’s Homeless Memorial, held every December at Old St. Pat’s Church. The HHH choir performs at the annual memorial.

Continue reading Ed Shurna to be honored at April 30 event

Many thanks! You helped stop repeal of the Affordable Care Act

Many thanks to our supporters! You joined untold thousands of Americans who phoned, emailed, rallied and posted in strong opposition to the American Health Care Act (AHCA), the Republican bill to repeal Pres. Obama’s Affordable Care Act (ACA). Unable to muster enough Republican votes, House Speaker Paul Ryan, after conferring with Pres. Trump, pulled the bill before an already-postponed vote was held Friday.

Among its draconian cutbacks, AHCA would have ended the Medicaid expansion that covers the working poor and older youth and adults experiencing homelessness, giving them life-saving access to medical care and mental health treatment.

Continue reading Many thanks! You helped stop repeal of the Affordable Care Act