Chicago Coalition for the Homeless (CCH) does not accept government funding. Instead, when we advocate for public support, it is on behalf of programs that shelter, house and assist people who are homeless and at-risk.
In May 2012, CCH helped persuade legislators to drop a proposed 52% cutback in state funding for emergency shelters and transitional housing programs across Illinois. It was the second time, in 6 months, that we succeeded in reversing a 52% ($4.7 million) cutback to shelters and housing serving families and single adults.
The state’s Fiscal Year 2013 budget, which took effect July 1, 2012, partially restored the following:
* $9.08 million to shelter and transitional housing, only $25,000 less than FY12.
* $4 million to homeless prevention grants. These are one-time grants to help families facing eviction or foreclosure. This is $2.5 million more for a program first proposed by CCH 13 years ago; state funding peaked at $11 million four years ago. Grants averaged $938 per family in FY 2011. Almost 100,000 families have been helped since the program began.
* $4.1 million for program helping unaccompanied youth. After a 33% cutback in three years, this is $900,000 (28%) more than FY 2012.
In November 2011, and again for the May 2012 vote, CCH worked with homeless people, community supporters and ally groups to persuade legislators to restore these programs. They included several hundred homeless people and shelter staff from Chicago, Aurora, Lake County, Peoria and Springfield. Also working with us were 30 service providers on the CCH Youth Committee; Housing Action Illinois; Chicago Alliance to End Homelessness; and the Supportive Housing Providers Association, with further advocacy from the city of Chicago.
For more information, contact Policy Director Julie Dworkin at (312) 641-4140.
Photo by Jaime Michelle Schmitz