We headed to Springfield Wednesday – amidst a ‘Twitter storm’ – to advocate against homeless service cutbacks

A group of 137 shelter residents, homeless providers and students traveled to Springfield March 4 with the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless (CCH). We talked to legislators about devastating cutbacks to homeless services proposed in Gov. Rauner’s FY16 state budget.

The action day included a Twitter storm from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to protest the proposed cutbacks, with supporters using the hashtags #nocuts and #twill.

More than 12,500 Illinois households would lose shelter, housing or services, as CCH detailed on our blog after the budget was announced on Feb. 18. 

Our in-person advocacy, backed by a Twitter storm of a few hundred tweets and retweets, had impact: It even merited a writeup by much-read political writer Rich Miller of the Capitol Fax.  Our leaders talked to 61 legislators – 34 state representatives and 27 state senators, 44 Democrats and 17 Republicans.

CCH organizers brought homeless families from Casa Central, La Casa Norte, Good News Partners’s New Life shelter, and San Jose Obrero Mission in Chicago, and Hesed House in Aurora.

Also participating are homeless youth from Neon Street and Unity Parenting and Counseling, parents and students on the CCH Education Committee, and students from DePaul and Northwestern universities, Trinity Christian College, University of Illinois-Chicago, and Collins and Tilden high schools.

– Anne Bowhay, Media