CCH school outreach helps Tilden teens find their voice

Through outreach at shelters, school and drop-in programs, CCH community organizers and youth attorneys reach almost 6,000 people a year at 35 programs across Chicago.

In a new effort, two organizers began working last year at Tilden Career Community Academy. More than 200 students at the South Side high school are homeless, exceeding 60% of total enrollment. Most of the homeless teens find shelter at the homes of friends or relatives, usually in overcrowded conditions.  Continue reading CCH school outreach helps Tilden teens find their voice

Oct. 1: More than 7,000 unaccompanied Illinois minors can consent to own routine medical care under new CCH-advocated law

Effective October 1, unaccompanied minors ages 14 to 18 can consent to their own routine medical care under a new Illinois law proposed by the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless.

The law ends a significant barrier to accessing medical care for more than 7,000 homeless Illinois minors who are deemed “unaccompanied” because they live separate and apart from a parent or guardian. They include almost 2,000 students identified as unaccompanied by Chicago Public Schools (CPS) last school year.

CCH advocated for the measure after school and health clinic officials told our staff of being required to turn away teens for easily treatable issues – such as asthma, a fever, minor cuts, and sprains – because the teens lacked a parent or guardian to sign a health care consent form.

The amendment to the Minors Consent to Medical Procedures Act brings Illinois in line with 16 other states that had similar laws, including California, Indiana and Texas. Florida also enacted minor consent legislation this spring, bringing the total to 18 states.  Continue reading Oct. 1: More than 7,000 unaccompanied Illinois minors can consent to own routine medical care under new CCH-advocated law

CCH and Chase volunteers kick off school outreach program, Every Child in School, Every Day

By Jennifer Betzen

From left, Director and Associate Director of the CCH Law Project, Rene Heybach and Patricia Nix-Hodes, Law Project client Marilyn Escoe, with Sharlita Davis and Lela Cetoute
(From left) Rene Heybach, Patricia Nix-Hodes, Marilyn Escoe, Sharlita Davis and Lela Cetoute

Longtime volunteers and some newcomers who work at JPMorgan Chase Bank gathered June 24 to kick off the sixth year of Every Child In School, Every Day, a collaborative volunteer effort between the bank and the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless (CCH).

The kick-off luncheon drew 27 bank volunteers and CCH legal staff who talked about the plans for school outreach in the coming year that is generously funded by JPMorgan Chase Foundation and supported by bank volunteers.  Continue reading CCH and Chase volunteers kick off school outreach program, Every Child in School, Every Day

CCH awards five new college scholarships

(Front row, from left) 2014 winners Joseph Perez, Judge Moore, Kristen Lang, Joseph Jones & Mahalia Crawford. (Back row, left) Returning upperclassmen Edwin Casas, Daihana Estrada, Gilma Escobar, Kimberly Azpeitia, Andrew Strmic, Edwina Ward, Jennifer Salgado-Benz, and 2014 UALR college graduate Nasia Smith (Photo by Jeff Foy)
(Front row, from left) 2014 winners Joseph Perez, Judge Moore, Kristen Lang, Joseph Jones & Mahalia Crawford. (Back row, left) Returning upperclassmen Edwin Casas, Daihana Estrada, Gilma Escobar, Kimberly Azpeitia, Andrew Strmic, Edwina Ward, Jennifer Salgado-Benz, and 2014 UALR college graduate Nasia Smith (Photo by Jeff Foy)

Chicago Coalition for the Homeless presented renewable $2,000 college scholarships to five Chicago Public School (CPS) students who succeeded in high school while coping with homelessness.

As the program enters its 11th year, CCH will have awarded more than $180,000 in aid to 44 CPS graduates.

Nasia Smith, our 2014 graduate from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, was featured speaker at the June 26 ceremony, hosted by Loyola University Law School.  Continue reading CCH awards five new college scholarships

John “Juancho” Donahue golf outing set for August 4 at Geneva National

CCH hosts its 11th annual Charity Golf Outing in memory of John “Juancho” Donahue on Monday, August 4 (12 noon) at Geneva National Golf Club.

Our longtime supporters at Howard Packaging: Howard Reed, Janet Terry, Sue Hayes & Dean Voss
Our longtime supporters at Howard Packaging – Brian Reed, Janet Terry, Sue Hayes & Dean Voss

This event raises critical funds for a non-profit that leads the fight against extreme poverty in our community.

Space and sponsorship opportunities are still available! Reserve your spot HEREContinue reading John “Juancho” Donahue golf outing set for August 4 at Geneva National

College scholarship applications due May 1

CCH college scholarship applications for 2014, including two references, must be submitted online or received in the mail by 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 1.

2013 scholarship winners
2013 scholarship winners

Up to five students who have experienced homelessness will be awarded $2,000 annual scholarships in June. The scholarships are renewable as students pursue their bachelor’s degree.

In the program’s 10 years, 39 students have won more than $150,000 in scholarship aid funded by private donors and several grant makers. During this 2013-14 school year, 16 students received awards, including six freshmen who were among 38 applicants last spring.

Eligible to apply are graduating high school seniors who were homeless at some point while attending Chicago Public high schools. Also eligible are former youth clients of the CCH Law Project who live in the city or suburbs, or youth leaders active at CCH who have a diploma or GED and are no older than age 22.

– Anne Bowhay, Media

 

Each summer, the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless awards $2,000 renewable college scholarships to graduating seniors who experienced homelessness while in high school.

Eligible to apply are students who were homeless at some point while attending Chicago Public high schools, a former youth client of the CCH Law Project in the city or suburbs, or a youth leader who is active with CCH and no older than age 22. Applications for 2014 are due May 1. More detailed eligibility criteria can be found here.

In 2013, six finalists were chosen from 38 applicants. Our 15 new and returning scholarship recipients were honored June 27, in a ceremony hosted by Loyola University Law School.

To showcase the promise and tenacity of aspiring college students who lived with homelessness while in high school, the CCH Law Project created the scholarship program in 2004. The program was the next step for a legal aid program that focuses its casework on helping homeless children and youth access public school. Patricia Rivera, then the director of the Chicago Public Schools’ Homeless Education Program, collaborated with CCH in creating the scholarship, and was the first of the private donors to fund the scholarships.

In 10 years, through 2013, 39 homeless or recently homeless students have received renewable scholarships totaling more than $165,000. Fifty-six percent of our students have earned their degrees or are progressing through college. Six scholarship recipients have graduated with bachelor’s degrees. A seventh graduated from a nursing program. Fourteen scholarship recipients will start or return to college in 2013-14, attending schools in Illinois and Arkansas. The program also assists one student pursuing a post-graduate degree.

CCH scholarships are fully funded by private donors and several foundations – the Osa Foundation and Robin Lavin, Sisters of Charity BVM, the Wohlers Family Foundation, and the Student Alliance for Homeless Youth, a organization led by teens from eight North Shore high schools. The program also benefited from $10,000 challenge grant from Elaine’s Hope, administered by educator Rhonda Purwin.

CCH donates its staff time and the costs of the summer event at which the students and donors meet to present the new scholarship winners.

For more information, contact Anne Bowhay or Claire Sloss.

– See more at: http://www.chicagohomeless.org/college-scholarships/#sthash.FMQoTuEY.dpuf

This Saturday: Old 97’s headline Hopefest 2014

Website ModuleTouting a 4-star review from Rolling Stone for their new album, the Old 97’s come to Chicago this weekend to headline our Hopefest concert Saturday, June 21 at the Park West.

General admission tickets are $30, with reserved seats $75.

Email ButtonFans of the group are looking forward to songs from the Old 97’s latest album, Most Messed Up, released in April. With a 4-star review in Rolling Stone, the band’s label calls this new work “the Old 97’s at their most raucous & boozy best, all swagger and heart.”  Continue reading This Saturday: Old 97’s headline Hopefest 2014

Mayor and CHA chief support CCH Re-Entry Project’s Family Reunification Pilot

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Mayor Emanuel announces the CHA pilot program at St. Leonard’s Ministry, flanked by members of the CCH Re-Entry Project (Photo by Shruti Sharma)

Mayor Emanuel has announced a pilot program between the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) and three service providers from the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless (CCH) Re-entry Project Committee that will allow select program participants with criminal backgrounds to access CHA housing.

Up to 50 adults will be placed during the three-year pilot, per the mayor’s March 28 announcement.  Continue reading Mayor and CHA chief support CCH Re-Entry Project’s Family Reunification Pilot

CCH survey shows more than half of Illinois homeless students lack needed school services

Homeless students Illinois 2012-13CCH has released findings from a statewide survey of public school districts: More than half of homeless students in Illinois must cope without needed tutoring, preschool or school counseling.

After months of advocacy by CCH, the Illinois State Board of Education and Gov. Quinn proposed to restore $3 million in state grants to fund school services for homeless students. It awaits approval in the FY15 state budget adopted in May by state legislators.  Continue reading CCH survey shows more than half of Illinois homeless students lack needed school services

In support of the Law Project, Justice Circle reception set for Feb. 13

IMG_2265The Law Project of the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless looks forward to our Justice Circle reception on Thursday, February 13 at the Chicago Bar Association, 321 S. Plymouth Court from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. Our program will start promptly at 6 p.m. and feature remarks by The Honorable Thomas L. Kilbride, Justice of the Illinois Supreme Court.  Continue reading In support of the Law Project, Justice Circle reception set for Feb. 13