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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 – Rachel Ramirez, Wayne Richard, Keith Freeman, and VISTA organizer Dasia Skinner – offer outreach at 25 facilities serving families, youths and adults across Chicago, including programs serving Spanish-speaking families, youth and adults.

Senior 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 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 3,873 people at 83 venues in 2015. The Bureau also mobilized 239 high school and college students to advocate with city and state officials.

In other outreach, Youth Attorney Beth Cunningham runs a mobile legal aid clinic that makes 16 monthly stops at neighborhood programs serving unaccompanied youth in Chicago. She is assisted by Youth Health Attorney Graham Bowman and staff attorney Diane O’Connell. Outreach sites include the Broadway Youth Center, Center on Halsted, La Casa Norte, Teen Living Programs, the Crib and Ujima youth shelters, and legal clinics held at twice a month at Chicago Public high schools.

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 older youth and adults of eligibility to apply for health care through Medicaid.

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 Fight for $15, which pushes to raise the hourly pay for minimum-wage and fast food workers.

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