‘Raunerville’ state budget protest outside one of Gov. Rauner’s luxury homes


May 13 – More than 200 homeless and community advocates from organizations in Chicago, Aurora, Waukegan and Maywood protested proposed state budget cutbacks to vital homeless, mental health, disability, and community programs on Wednesday afternoon.

Gov. Rauner’s FY16 budget would cut $18 million from programs for homeless youth, emergency shelters, and supportive housing for those with mental health and substance abuse needs.

After gathering in Millenium Park, we held a short program before marching to one of Gov. Rauner’s penthouses, at 340 E. Randolph.
We camped out in a homeless settlement in the park that we called Raunerville. 

Raunerville symbolizes the homeless shelters and low-income housing that will be lost, the degraded condition of our communities of proposed budget cuts that include:

* Homeless Youth Services provide shelter and counseling to unaccompanied homeless youth. A CCH analysis shows 12,186 homeless youth in Chicago last year. A $3.1 million cutback would leave 1,326 homeless youth without services.

* Supportive Housing Services provide affordable housing and counseling services to adults and families with serve mental illness or substance abuse. A $14 million cutback would leave 10,311 vulnerable people without services.

* Illinois’s homeless prevention program provides small, one-time grants to help struggling families stay in their homes. More than 105,000 households have been helped since 2000. A $1 million cutback would leave 955 households without help to avoid becoming homeless.

Organized by the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, Access Living, Action Now, Kenwood Oakland Community Organization, Jewish Council on Urban Affairs, Jane Addams Senior Caucus, and ONE Northside, with support from the Grassroots Collaborative. 

For more information, contact Jim Picchetti, organizer of the Statewide Network at the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, jpicchetti@chicagohomeless.org