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Outreach Programs

Meeting with families at a South Side shelter

To help people who are coping with homelessness, CCH community organizers offer outreach at shelters, street programs, and single-room occupancy facilities.

Each month, three field organizers — Dollie Brewer, Rachel Ramirez, and Wayne Richard – visit 25 facilities serving families, youths and adults across Chicago, including new outreach at programs serving Spanish-speaking families.

Organizer Jim Picchetti also mobilizes the Statewide Network, organizing service providers in nine suburban and downstate communities — Aurora, Bloomington, Elgin, Joliet/Will County, Maywood, Peoria, Rockford, Springfield and Waukegan/Lake County.

Associate Organizing Director Hannah Willage manages the CCH Speakers Bureau. Fifteen of our most active community leaders talk to school, civic and religious groups about their experience with homelessness. They reached an audience of more than 4,100 people at 85 venues in FY 2013. The Bureau also mobilized 152 high school and college students to advocate with city and staff officials.

In other outreach, Youth Attorney Beth Cunningham runs a mobile legal aid clinic that makes three to four weekly stops at neighborhood programs serving unaccompanied youth in Chicago. Outreach sites include the Center on Halsted, Chicago Law & Education Foundation’s Southwest Side high school clinics, Peace Corner Youth Center in Austin, and Teen Living Programs.

During outreach sessions, CCH staff offer practical information. This includes telling parents about a homeless child’s right to free transportation to school, or informing low-income adults of eligibility to apply for charity care from non-profit hospitals.

Through outreach, CCH involves homeless youth, parents and single adults in advocacy campaigns that create access and economic opportunities for people living in extreme poverty. These campaigns include the Fair Care Coalition, which urges state regulators to require tax-exempt hospitals to deliver adequate levels of charity care to indigent patients.

For more information, contact Associate Executive Director Jim Field at (312) 641-4140.