The Columbia Chronicle: New response center to help homeless families

By Jackie Murray, Metro Reporter

Chicago’s first rapid response center designed to help homeless families get on the path to permanent housing will be built on the West Side through a collaboration between city officials and the Salvation Army.

“We’re just very thankful for the opportunity the city is providing us,” said Lt. Col. Charles Smith, metropolitan divisional commander for the Salvation Army. “We look forward to this service as the years go by.” 

The Shield of Hope, 910 N. Christiana Ave., will have a 20-room unit that can house up to 75 beds and a multipurpose room that can house cots if necessary.  Families can stay at the shelter from one to 10 days while being assessed and then will be referred to one of the 50 family shelters in the city before hopefully moving to permanent housing, Smith said. 

Construction is scheduled to begin in April or May 2017, and the facility is scheduled to open  its doors in the latter part of spring 2018, he added.

Continue reading The Columbia Chronicle: New response center to help homeless families

Illinois NPR: Bill would ban box that blocks college students

CCH NOTE: Chicago Coalition for the Homeless works in a reentry coalition advocating passage of Rep. Wheeler’s bill, House Bill 3142.

Our Reentry Project is part of the Restoring Rights and Opportunities Coalition of Illinois (RROCI). The coalition was organized in 2015 by CCH, Cabrini Green Legal Aid, Community Renewal Society, and Heartland Alliance. RROCI advocates for policies that remove barriers for ex-offenders in community reentry.

By Dusty Rhodes

In a way, it’s just one little box on a lengthy college application form. But for many would-be students, that box is more of a stop sign if the instructions say “check here if you have a criminal record.” State Rep. Barbara Wheeler, a Republican from Crystal Lake, wants to change that.

She sat down with Education Desk reporter Dusty Rhodes to explain why.

Rep. Wheeler: A couple of years ago, a constituent came to me after he had been in some trouble during his high school years, and he needed some help with expungement as well as some advice in regard to going on with his life after high school graduation.

Continue reading Illinois NPR: Bill would ban box that blocks college students

Equal Voice News: Marguerite Casey Foundation honors César Chavez Day heroes for 2017

 

CCH leader Taishi Neuman is among 26 community leaders honored by the Marguerite Casey Foundation, a national funder based in Seattle.

 

Taishi Neuman – A Mom Fights for Good Housing, Inspiring Her Kids

TaishiNeumanPhoto_2

Hero’s name: Taishi Neuman

Home city: Chicago

Organization affiliation: Chicago Coalition for the Homeless 

How does the person’s work advance social justice? What is the person’s vision for an equitable world?

“Taishi Neuman is inspired to help families coping with poverty. First homeless at age 15, she experienced homelessness again when multiple sclerosis left her unable to work as a nursing home assistant.

She thought she was too reserved to speak up, until Taishi met a community organizer from the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless (CCH). He was running an outreach session, telling parents at her transitional housing program how they could speak up about school issues.

Continue reading Equal Voice News: Marguerite Casey Foundation honors César Chavez Day heroes for 2017

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

Chicago Sun-Times, Mark Brown: Trump budget would put bite on more than Meals on Wheels

Budget director Mick Mulvaney says administration officials should not provide any further details about the budget plan beyond what was in the 53-page document. | Getty Images

By Mark Brown, columnist

The problems that President Donald Trump’s proposed federal budget would cause for Chicago extend far beyond the Meals on Wheels program that so far has received most of the attention.

As I explained in Sunday’s column, the $3 billion Community Development Block Grant program that Trump would eliminate provides $1.8 million — or 20 percent — of the $8.6 million the city spends on its version of Meals on Wheels.

That’s not fake news. That’s a real cut that could severely impact a vital service that brings nutritious meals to 8,000 needy seniors a year.

But it’s also just a fraction of the city’s total expected $81 million CDBG allotment for 2017. Take away that money entirely, as Trump proposes, and you poke a painful hole in numerous other city social service efforts.

Continue reading Chicago Sun-Times, Mark Brown: Trump budget would put bite on more than Meals on Wheels

WTTW Chicago Tonight: Chicago expands ‘A Day for Change’ homeless program

Chicago has expanded the pilot program “A Day for Change” in an effort to offer increased support to those struggling with homelessness. (Nltram242 / Flickr)

By Maya Miller

For the past three months, case workers from the nonprofit organization A Save Haven Foundation have been driving through the city offering panhandlers and homeless individuals a chance to work. The five-hour shifts consist of manual labor, such as shoveling snow or picking up trash, for a cash payment of about $55.

Last week, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced the city would allocate $540,000 toward expanding the initiative, called A Day for Change. The yearlong program aims to help more than 550 people who are struggling with housing and economic stability.

“To ensure every Chicagoan has an opportunity for steady housing and employment, we are investing in programs that work,” Emanuel said in a press release announcing the expansion.

Continue reading WTTW Chicago Tonight: Chicago expands ‘A Day for Change’ homeless program

Chicago Tribune, Dahleen Glanton: Chicago’s homeless need housing, not handouts

By Dahleen Glanton, columnist

This is hard to admit, but I have not always been empathetic toward the homeless people who live under the viaducts.

During the summer in Uptown, I would see them lounging on the grass or seated in lounge chairs while hamburgers and hot dogs cooked on a barbecue grill nearby. I convinced myself that this was where they wanted to be, carefree and without responsibility. That’s what I wanted to believe.

Then winter came. And the reality of what it means to be homeless, particularly in Chicago, was suddenly clear. I could not have been more wrong.

At the end of the season, the snow came, dumping up to 10 inches on the Chicago area Monday and Tuesday. Temperatures along the lakefront dipped below freezing and were expected to drop even lower in the coming days.

Monday evening, I drove past the homeless encampment underneath the Lake Shore Drive bridge at Lawrence Avenue once again. This time, it looked so different — damp and littered with snow.

Continue reading Chicago Tribune, Dahleen Glanton: Chicago’s homeless need housing, not handouts

WBEZ: Trump budget could hit Illinois’ homeless, domestic-violence agencies with ‘double-whammy’

By Dan Weissmann

Local agencies that combat homelessness and domestic violence face a “double-whammy” of government funding cuts.

For almost two years, the agencies have seen their state funding reduced and interrupted because of the ongoing budget mess in Springfield.

Now, the Trump administration may be targeting some of their federal support. The Washington Post reported that a draft of Trump’s budget for the Department of Housing and Urban Development would eliminate a program called the Community Development Block Grant.

The program sends about $43 million to Chicago non-profits, including agencies whose services have been especially hard-hit by the state’s failure to enact a budget since June 2015.

Here is how cuts to the Community Development Block Grant could play out in Illinois.

Homeless services

This year, that federal program sends $9 million to Chicago agencies that serve the homeless.

“These providers are already so devastated because of the state,” said Julie Dworkin, policy director for the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless. “Everyone’s trying to dig themselves out of these terrible holes. If they got a $9 million cut, it would be awful.”

Most homeless-service programs got no state funding at all for the first 12 months of the state budget impasse. A stopgap budget for the second half of 2016 freed up some funds, but that ended on Jan. 1.

Domestic violence

Domestic violence groups like Apha Ghar have been in the same boat as homeless-service agencies. Neha Gill, who runs the domestic-violence agency, said she has gotten no state funds since November. Now, some federal funds may be in danger.

“I worry about what that means, if we have this double-whammy,” she said.

Even before the state’s budget mess, she was already trying to make the group less dependent on government money. Gill said she had enough success in chasing big donations from wealthy private donors that government now provides only about half of the agency’s funding.

“But, half the funding for an agency like ours is still a lot of funding,” she said. “When you’re thinking about the next 25 years for the organization, individuals can’t really sustain it in the way that government has.”

WBEZ 91.5: Out in the cold – where do Chicago’s homeless go in the winter?

 

Click image for an interactive experience

 

By Odette Yousef

Jake Riley has lived in Chicago for seven winters, and every year, come Halloween time, he notices something. “Nobody is outside, including homeless people,” says the Edgewater resident.

So he came to Curious City with this question: “Where do all the homeless people in Chicago go during the wintertime?”

Riley’s guess is that in the winter, people stay in homeless shelters.

“But then my question would be, well, why can’t those shelters help people all the time?” he says.

For help with Jake’s question, we turned to someone who was homeless in the city for three years. Fifty-nine-year-old Bryant Cunningham used to have a job and his own apartment, but he lost both around 2013 after his health took a turn for the worse and left him unable to work.

“I had — in a 3-month period — four heart attacks,” says Cunningham. “When I got out, it was a little hard to get back in the saddle. I got behind in the bills.”

One of those bills was his rent, and Cunningham lost his apartment.

Cunningham can’t speak to every single type of place that homeless people stay in the winter. The options are numerous, and everyone makes decisions based on personal circumstances.

But after talking with Cunningham, homeless advocates and social service providers, we can profile the most common places homeless Chicagoans stay during the winter. Each, it turns out, offers pros and cons when it comes to comfort, convenience, safety and dignity.

“Doubling up”

The first thing that Cunningham did after he lost his apartment was move in with his daughter and son-in-law. “Doubling up,” as it’s often called, affords the comfort of being indoors with familiar people. And, according to one expert, this option may be more available in the cold season than in warm ones.

“When it’s colder there might be more willingness … to open [a home] up to someone who typically might be on the streets,” says Doug Schenkelberg, executive director of the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless.

But prolonged living in close quarters can lead to tension. That’s what happened with Cunningham, who says it became difficult to live under the rules of his relatives.

For some, tolerance for these potentially awkward situations or strained relations may be higher when it’s freezing outside and they lack alternatives. But when the weather warms, some people may prefer to leave for other options.

As for Cunningham, he eventually decided he didn’t want to risk damaging his relationship with his daughter by staying too long. “After about a year or so, I said OK, before I get to a point where we get into it, because I love my daughter profusely, I said I’m just going to go head on.”

Bryant Cunningham, a former bus driver, lived without a home on-and-off for three years, after a series of heart attacks left him unable to work. (WBEZ/Maggie Sivit)

The Chicago Transit Authority ‘L’

After he left his daughter’s place, Cunningham tried living with a friend, but left after tensions arose there, too. To stay out of the cold, Cunningham spent a couple of weeks riding the CTA Red and Blue Lines at nights, from about 11:30 p.m. to 7:30 a.m.

He says that riding the ‘L’ through the night meant having to get off and re-board over and over again. The constant on-and-off also meant that a night on the trains did not make for a proper night’s sleep. Cunningham says, at best, he only caught about 45 minutes to an hour of rest at a time.

Cunningham adds that CTA personnel go after people who appear to be staying on the trains all night.

“It’s just like a game of checkers,” he says. “You never want to get to the very end of the line. [You want to get off] either one or two stops before the end.”

Cunningham says that when he slept on the ‘L’ all night, he had to look out for security guards. (WBEZ/Maggie Sivit)

 

In addition to providing an indoor, warm space during cold nights, the presence of other people on the ‘L’ can provide a measure of security.

But in the deepest hours of the night, when few people are riding the train, Cunningham says he worried about his safety and protecting his personal belongings. “If you sleep, make sure you have your back to the side seats at the furthest end in the corner with your bag covered, and your hands tucked over your bag,” he advises. “So if they had to go in your bag they have to tug it and then they will wake you up.”

Single Room Occupancy Hotels

Single room occupancy hotels offer room rentals for a month at a time. A few SROs in Chicago offer overnight or weekly rates, as well, though available units in these buildings can be hard to get. Monthly rates often fall between $350 to $800, and daily rates hover around $50. SROs often only rent to single individuals; they’re rarely options for people with partners or families.

Cunningham only stayed once at a SRO hotel. He mostly recalls the discomfort of having to go up and down stairs with his bad knees, because the building lacked an elevator. Some SROs are old and poorly-maintained, leading to complaints of crumbling infrastructure and bedbugs. Still, depending on one’s income status, unit availability and temperatures outside, SROs may be an acceptable option in the winter.

But it’s an option that may be declining. In recent years, several SROs in gentrifying Chicago neighborhoods have changed ownership and been converted to mostly market-rate housing. In other cases, community groups purchased an SRO. Though the groups are often committed to preserving affordable housing, the rehabs sometimes reduced the overall number of available units.

Public libraries

In addition to strategizing where to spend his nights, Cunningham also had to figure out where to go to stay warm during the daytime. Even if he happened to be staying at a shelter, it often didn’t allow guests to stay indoors between wake-up time and evening curfew. He says it was a challenge to find places that he could, as he put it, “kill the hours” without looking conspicuous or getting kicked out.

To stay warm during the daytime, Cunningham spent time at the Harold Washington Library, reading books and attending cultural events. (WBEZ/Maggie Sivit)

 

Cunningham’s favorite place to spend the day was the Harold Washington Library, and he spent a lot of time there. “From 9:30 [a.m.] to 9 o’clock [p.m.], Monday through Friday,” he says. And sometimes weekends too.

His favorite floors were where he could find instructional books on drawing cartoons, and catch occasional guest lectures and cultural performances. The library also offered Cunningham internet access on public computers, allowing him to catch up on current events and find information about public benefits he needed.

But libraries can also be unfriendly to homeless people. Cunningham says homeless people are often kicked out if they are found to be sleeping, so it was important to know a few tricks.

“You put the book (up) like you’re reading. … Or, you wear sunglasses while you’re reading,” he says. “[You] just have to make sure that the book is not upside down when you fall asleep.”

Stores, restaurants, etc.

Restaurants, coffee shops and stores also offer a warm place to duck into, especially on bitterly cold nights when libraries are mostly closed.

At some private establishments, Cunningham says staff are not welcoming to homeless people or anyone who appears to be settling in for a prolonged stay. Over time, Cunningham developed a detailed mental map of which restaurants and coffee shops were hospitable to homeless people, and would allow them to sit and nurse a coffee for hours at a time.

“McDonalds … Burger King,” he rattles off. “There’s a restaurant on Canal and Roosevelt called the White Palace. It’s been there a lot of years, and it’s open 24 hours.”

One of Cunningham’s frequent places was the Dunkin Donuts kitty-corner from the Harold Washington Library, where he developed an early morning routine. “Coffee, couple wraps, corner seat, and eat very, very slowly,” says Cunningham. He often sat at a table tucked way in the back where he was least likely to be disturbed or noticed.

On especially cold days, Cunningham would frequent the Dunkin Donuts near State and Van Buren to warm up with a hot cup of coffee. (WBEZ/Maggie Sivit)

 

However, Cunningham says he would only try this option if he felt his hygiene was up to par; he didn’t want attention from the staff or other patrons. And, of course, Cunningham notes that restaurants and coffee shops were only an option when he could spare a couple of dollars to buy a coffee, which he didn’t always have.

City warming centers

On the coldest of days, when temperatures fall below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, the City of Chicago allows people to visit its six warming centers. Most are open between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays. Chicago police stations and hospitals also allow individuals to sit in lobbies or waiting rooms. In general, these facilities will call a mobile van outreach program to pick up and transport people to homeless shelters to stay overnight.

Cunningham says the wait for the outreach van can be long. He recalled going to the Grand Crossing Police Station near 71st Street and South Cottage Grove Avenue. Staff called the mobile outreach van to pick him up and take him to a shelter. “I was sitting in the lobby, hugging a heater from 8 p.m.‘til about 3 or 4 in the morning,” he remembers. “And I just got tired and said, ‘Well, look, I’m going to go back to the ‘L’ because this is just madness.’”

Tent cities

Of course, some people manage to live outside even through cold winters. Cunningham didn’t try this.

“I don’t do outside, and I don’t do the camping thing,” he says.

Constant exposure to cold weather, uncertainty about one’s own safety and the security of one’s personal belongings can take a mental and physical toll. But depending on one’s health and equipment, this option may be preferable to others.

So-called “tent cities,” where homeless people form encampments under highways or in parks, have become increasingly visible in Chicago during recent years. For many who choose this living arrangement, it offers a deep sense of community that other options lack. They share resources, donations and help to protect each other against outsiders or the elements. Many people who live outdoors also say it offers them complete autonomy over their lifestyle and schedule, which they would lose if they were to go to a homeless shelter.

Shelters

Shelters are perhaps what most people, including our question asker, think of when they consider where someone without a home might stay.

Cunningham preferred to stay in shelters during the winter when he lacked other indoor options. He says shelters offered him a better sleep than CTA trains.

“You got your mats, your sheets, your blankets,” he explains.

Homeless shelters provide people food and a place to sleep. However, many choose to leave once the weather gets warm. (WBEZ/Paula Friedrich)

 

According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Chicago had 5,469 shelter beds available year-round in 2016. In general, that’s enough shelter beds to meet demand.

But on the coldest nights, the shelter system in Chicago does expand capacity. Lydia Stazen Michael, Vice President of Communications at All Chicago, says that on frigid nights, capacity may increase by 500 hundred spaces, allowing people to stay in hallways, or in shelter cafeterias where tables are cleared away to open floor space.

“It’s not great space,” she explains. “It’s like mats on the floor.” She says they do it because they won’t turn people away when it is dangerously cold outside.

Let’s return to the second part of Jake’s question: If shelters in Chicago have this expanded capacity in the winter, why don’t they house homeless people year round?

“The demand just goes down in the warmer weather,” says Stazen Michael. In other words, homeless people opt to go elsewhere when the weather gets warmer, perhaps because shelters can have so many downsides.

Cunningham says one of those downsides involves restrictions on where he and others could be during the daytime. At one shelter at which Cunningham stayed, he says staff were concerned that neighbors would complain about the shelter becoming a neighborhood nuisance if people loitered close by.

“They didn’t like you hanging in the two-block radius where the shelters and stuff were,” he says. “So you had to move around.”

Another common restriction at shelters is curfews. If an individual doesn’t make it back to the shelter by, say, 6:45 p.m., he or she may lose a spot. Additionally, several places have sobriety rules, requiring guests to stay clean during their time at the shelter.

Cunningham says that at one privately-run shelter, he was uncomfortable with a requirement to participate in religious activities in order to receive meals; “If you didn’t participate in sermons … they locked the door until after dinner.”

Many homeless people report of bed bugs at some shelters. They also fear having their personal possessions stolen.

The most common concern is that some shelters feel chaotic and unsafe. They can be like tinder boxes: communal living arrangements for groups of people who sometimes are dealing with major life stressors such as drug dependency and mental health challenges — in addition to unstable housing. One homeless services worker says that, in the worst cases, there are instances of physical fights and sexual abuse.

So to answer Jakes question: Shelters can be rough places to stay, and while many people use them to escape low temperatures in the winter, they choose to leave once the weather turns milder. Simply expanding capacity year-round would not necessarily solve homelessness in Chicago.

For Cunningham, the answer to homelessness was income. After years of waiting to receive federal disability benefits, he finally started getting those checks late last year. With that income, he qualified for a two-year subsidized housing program in a South Shore neighborhood. With a stable roof over his head, Cunningham looks forward to starting a job training program soon and working.

Cunningham says the key to finding a solution is to know that each person is unique.

“We’re all homeless for different reasons. Some have medical reasons, mental reasons,” he says. “So, there’s really no blanket answer to fix it without finding each individual that’s homeless, figure out how he or she got that way, and that’s about the best answer I can give you.”

More about our questioner

Courtesy of Jake Riley

Jake Riley is a buyer for a lighting company in Chicago’s River North neighborhood. He moved to Chicago from Nashville, Tennessee, seven years ago and lives in the Edgewater neighborhood.

“I live right next to the Red Line, the Thorndale station,” he says, explaining that most of his observations about the city come when he’s getting around on foot or by public transit.

Now that he’s heard about Cunningham’s experiences navigating winters without a home, Riley says he appreciates the reminder that not all homeless people are the same.

“It’s easy to not think like that, (and to think) that everyone is in the same boat and there’s a solution for all,” he says, “and there’s not.”

Chicago Daily Law Bulletin: Local lawyers fight Trump’s policies

By Emily Donovan, Law Bulletin staff writer

Friday at noon, as other Loop workers took lunch breaks in the warm, rare mid-February sun, a criminal-defense attorney rallied a crowd of more than 150 in Federal Plaza, across from the Dirksen Federal Courthouse.

“Whose court is this?” Molly E. Armour asked into a megaphone.

“Our court!” the crowd chanted.

Chicago was one of 17 cities across the nation where the National Lawyers Guild organized hourlong rallies near courthouses. These rallies were in support of the General Strike, a move to protest President Donald Trump by coordinating strike actions across the nation.

“As we saw with all of the people who answered the call to go to O’Hare [to aid detainees of Donald Trump’s Jan. 27 travel ban], there are lawyers in our community who share these values but find themselves siloed in their work and don’t necessarily work for traditional legal aid organizations or volunteer regularly with these types of groups,” Armour said. “There are opportunities for them and we are here to help organize and work together on these issues that we have already identified and that we know are coming in these dangerous times ahead.”

Armour, owner of the Law Office of Molly Armour and the Midwest regional vice president of the guild, said the guild started discussing rallies of lawyers about two weeks earlier and that a “legal strike” in Chicago was brainstormed a week beforehand.

“As you can probably hear out your window every day, there are marches happening in the streets all the time and today we’re just going to be saying that we are a part of this community and we have certain skills that we will marshal — our legal skills — in service of the movement,” Armour said.

Standing behind banners advertising the Chicago guild and other social justice legal organizations, a midsized crowd held signs saying “silence = compliance,” “There are no ‘so-called’ judges in a Democracy!” and “Our so-called president must respect the judicial system.”

Shortly after noon, a larger crowd of protesters joined — including several people waving antifascist signs, several holding anti-Trump signs, one man beating a drum, someone blowing what sounded like a vuvuzela horn, one person wearing a “Black Lives Matter” sweatshirt and another wearing a pink pussy hat like those seen at last month’s Women’s March — and Armour turned on the megaphone.

The rally was co-sponsored by 22 other organizations that Armour described as having “a long-standing history of being there for movements.” They work in issues like immigration, mass incarceration, homelessness and community activism and included the People’s Law Office, Community Activism Law Alliance, the Uptown People’s Law Center, The John Marshall Law School student chapter of the American Constitution Society, Northern Illinois Justice for Our Neighbors and the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless.

Many speakers, like Max Michael Suchan, the mass defense coordinator at the Chicago guild and coordinator of the Chicago Community Bond Fund, asked attorneys to volunteer and get involved with the issues.

“We’re going to have increased need,” Suchan said. “As this administration ramps up its efforts, we know that resistance will increase as well. We are going to be there and we need you to be there with us.”

Speakers celebrated the increase in legal volunteering they’ve seen since the Trump administration took place.

Lam Nguyen Ho, founder and executive director of the Community Activism Law Alliance, said lawyers must unite with activists to offer their legal services in the way the activists need.

“Over the last two months, we haven’t been prouder and happier about the legal field because of all the lawyers who are recognizing that they have to work with communities,” Ho said. “All the over 1,400 lawyers who ran to O’Hare airport to join the protestors, to work with the people on the ground, to make sure that as lawyers we’re using our tools as a part of a much larger toolbox for social change.”

As of Friday morning, there were more than 1,411 Chicago attorneys, translators and law students on an e-mail list to volunteer at O’Hare International Airports following Trump’s travel ban. Since the executive order creating the ban was temporarily stayed, the group has been staffing 10 volunteers at a time.

Heartland Alliance’s National Immigrant Justice Center also cited increased activism among lawyers after the travel ban. The group led the biggest volunteer training session in its 30-year history on Feb. 2. Normal sessions have about 40 to 50 attorneys sign up. February registrations hit the room capacity of 130; organizers had to schedule an overflow session for March.

Megan J. Davis, a staff attorney for Northern Illinois Justice for Our Neighbors, said the turnout of lawyers is a good start.

“People who I think have probably never gotten on the ground, in the streets, at the airport are really coming out of the woodwork and that’s an incredible momentum that we have to keep carrying,” she said.

However, Davis said, Friday’s protest was not even one month into the Trump presidency.

“We have four more years potentially of this administration and we have to really think of ways to not let this sense of urgency begin to feel normalized,” Davis said.

Diane C. O’Connell, a staff attorney for Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, was encouraged by the outpouring of legal volunteering and others protesting.

“I am filled with hope because I know that as lawyers, legal workers, students and activists, we know how to work powerfully,” O’Connell said. “And to win, we will need to keep working.”

MiAngel C. Cody, an attorney with the Federal Defender Program for the Northern District of Illinois and a leader with The Decarceration Collective, said the political moment is helping people see the cross-pollination of issues and no longer work in silos.

“This was just the beginning,” Cody said. “The tidal wave is about to come.”