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Outreach Programs

Meeting with mothers at a South Side family shelter

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

Each month, four field organizers — Dollie Brewer, Rachel Ramirez, Wayne Richard, and our VISTA organizer – offer outreach at some 30 facilities serving families, youths and adults across Chicago, including programs serving Spanish-speaking families, youth and adults.

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 our 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 4,498 people at 81 venues in FY14. The Bureau also mobilized 182 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 six weekly stops at neighborhood programs serving unaccompanied youth in Chicago. She is assisted by Equal Justice Works attorney Graham Bowman. Outreach sites include the Center on Halsted, La Casa Norte, Teen Living Programs, and legal clinics held at twice a month at various Chicago Public high schools. CCH also runs a bi-weekly group for street youth called HELLO, meeting every other Tuesday at 5 p.m. at the Broadway Youth Center in the Lakeview neighborhood.

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 Raise Illinois and the Fight for 15, which are pushing to raise the wage for minimum-wage and fast food workers.

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