Homeless youth ask Gov. Rauner’s neighbors to voice support for funding

DSC_0252By Claire Sloss, Assistant Development Director

Homeless youth and program staff joined CCH outside some of Gov. Bruce Rauner’s nine luxury homes this morning, serving free coffee and urging his neighbors and passersby to voice their support for homeless youth funding.

The governor owns two condos at 340 on the Park, a posh high-rise at 340 E. Randolph Street, across from Maggie Daley Park.

Twenty-five backpacks lined up along a meticulously trimmed planter outside the high-rise represented the 25,000 homeless Illinois youth who face losing shelter because of the 10-month state budget impasse. More and more programs that shelter, house and counsel youth have been forced to lay off staff and cutback services. A few have already closed. 

Twenty-five youths and providers distributed nearly 500 flyers. They highlighted the disparity between Gov. Rauner and his luxury condos – one of which he uses only for storage – and the lives of homeless youth forced to carry their belongings in backpacks when living on the street.

Passersby were asked to call the governor’s office, requesting that he support legislation (HB 4955/SB 2603) that would release $274.7 million in funds already collected and earmarked to provide affordable housing and end homelessness.

Please take a minute to call the Gov. Rauner’s office at (312) 814-2121 to ask him to support HB 4955/SB 2603.

One of the youths distributing information was Kaylin Collins, 21, who lives at Ujima Village Shelter, a program of Unity Parenting and Counseling, Inc. She said Ujima “keeps a lot of us safe and off the street and gives us hope.”

Lawrence Knox, 20, also stays at Ujima. He says closing the shelter would mean more than losing housing.

“I have a lot of friends at the shelter that help me get through the tough times,” Lawrence said.

Helping distribute information were staff from Chicago’s Universal Family Connection, Unity Parenting & Counseling and Neon Street Dorms, and The Harbour of Park Ridge.

Links to media coverage: CBS Chicago/WBBM Newsradio