Statement: We stand with those protesting white supremacy and systemic racism

What Chicago is experiencing in this moment is the result of white supremacy and systemic racism. We saw it as the pandemic took hold, and we see it as police officers continue to murder Black members of the community.

Where does someone experiencing homelessness go when the city institutes a curfew? How do they access essential needs like food and medical care when the city shuts down public transportation? Where do students and families experiencing homelessness find food when Chicago Public Schools (CPS) shut down food distribution?

Chicago Coalition for the Homeless’ grassroots leaders, staff, and board stand in solidarity with those protesting in the wake of the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd. The protests are about more than these three tragedies. These protests are about a long history of violence and injustice that has been actively ignored by those with the power to change racist systems and policies.

In this moment, we demand the following actions be taken:

  • Reverse the decision to shut down food distribution at CPS schools so that impoverished families and their children have access to the food they need to survive.
  • Fully reopen Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) lines so that people, particularly those who are experiencing homelessness, can access services, food, and shelter.
  • Stop any and all sweeps at encampments that are not specifically requested by people living there and ensure no people experiencing homelessness are harassed due to their housing status.
  • Invest in real housing to serve the close to 80,000 people in our city who are living on the streets, in shelters, and doubled-up. This action includes:
    1. Using CARES Act funding to create rapid rehousing that will serve as a bridge to permanent housing with supportive services.
    2. Create real, dedicated funding at scale in Chicago for permanent housing with supportive services.

As an organization, Chicago Coalition for the Homeless will provide financial and personal support to our peers leading this movement. In addition, our white staff commit to showing up and following the lead of leaders of color as we push for systemic change.

Enrollment open for CPS preschool – children from homeless families promised priority placement

Chicago families with preschool-age children can now enroll in preschool for the 2020-21 school year.

Children must be 3 years old or 4 years old by September 1, 2020 to be eligible for the Chicago Public Schools’ (CPS) preschool program next year. A family can apply for up to two different preschools.

Families can apply online at http://chicagoearlylearning.org They can also apply by phone, at (312) 229-1690.

CPS promises priority placement for children in families experiencing homelessness. Still, it is important to apply as early as possible to avoid being placed on a waitlist. Enrollment opened on May 21.

The Law Project of the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless is available to answer questions and help families by phone with completing the application for preschool enrollment.

Call Education Attorney Alyssa Phillips at 1 (800) 940-1119 if you need assistance with preschool enrollment.

Children experiencing homelessness can be enrolled in preschool without proof of address, income, guardianship or other documents normally needed for enrollment. This includes children living in shelters, those sharing the housing of others due to loss of housing or economic hardship (“doubled-up”), or those living in other temporary living situations.

Families experiencing homelessness should indicate their living situation on the application and notify the person assisting them with preschool enrollment.

Early childhood education is a crucial component to a child’s development and future academic success. Studies show that children who attend preschool are more likely to graduate from high school, attend college, and stay out of the criminal justice system.

CCH advocacy for a new state budget that includes $396 million for housing assistance

By Niya K. Kelly

Director of State Legislative Policy, Equity and Transformation

Because of COVID-19, the Illinois legislative session was cut short this spring. Our legislative agenda shifted to making sure that our providers and people experiencing homelessness are equipped with the funding and services to make it through this trying and unique time.

Returning to Springfield this week, the General Assembly had a short priority list of bills to take up. These included the Fair Tax ballot measure language, voting modifications for the upcoming presidential election, and of course, the state budget for Fiscal Year 2021. Legislators approved a $40 billion state budget by early Sunday, May 24.

Chicago Coalition for the Homeless (CCH) advocates for multiple line items in the state budget, including Homelessness Prevention, Emergency and Transitional Housing, Permanent Supportive Housing and Homeless Youth. Our goal was to ensure no cuts to the above line items and to provide additional funding from the federal CARES Act and Coronavirus Relief Fund for rental assistance, mortgage relief, and funding for service providers.

CCH advocacy included making sure service providers:

  • could continue to decompress their shelters and house people in hotels and permanent housing,
  • provide hazard pay for their staff,
  • and, as we enter a new world, funding for expanded rapid rehousing with services for people leaving hotels so that they do not return to homelessness.

Through the advocacy of service providers reaching out to their legislators, people with lived experience, and the work of State Rep. Delia Ramirez and State Sen. Robert Peters (both D-Chicago), each line item will remain at level funding in the new fiscal year that begins July 1.

We also were able to secure $396 million in funding for housing assistance, with the funds to be managed by the Illinois Housing Development Authority. The General Assembly allocated $1.5 billion to the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) to be used in the response to COVID-19, with $100 million allocated to the Illinois Department of Human Services.

The Budget Implementation bill provides that the Governor can direct funds to the State Coronavirus Urgent Remediation Emergency (State CURE) Fund or to the Local Coronavirus Urgent Remediation Emergency (Local CURE) Fund for further use in accordance with the purposes authorized by the federal CARES Act. A portion of the funds appropriated for the Local CURE Support Program may be allotted to municipalities and counties based on proportionate population.

The budget allows unique funding opportunities for us to make a meaningful effort to provide people experiencing or at risk of homelessness the opportunity to become stable in permanent affordable housing with the needed services. CCH will continue to do advocacy for people experiencing homelessness and the organizations providing them with services.

Chicago Tribune: Illinois lawmakers send Gov. J.B. Pritzker a $40 billion maintenance budget that relies heavily on federal funding

Chicago Sun-Times, Mark Brown: COVID-19 outbreak at homeless shelters raises concerns for some still staying there

Hotel used to “shield” medically at-risk homeless people from virus is operating at capacity.

By Mark Brown, columnist

Robert Ewaniuk has been staying at a West Side homeless shelter operated by Franciscan Outreach for a little more than a week, during which he’s been tested twice for COVID-19 after other residents contracted the disease.

At age 54 and with several underlying health conditions including diabetes and Parkinson’s disease, Ewaniuk is considered high risk for coronavirus complications if he were to become infected.

Normally, those health problems would make Ewaniuk a candidate for a room at Hotel 166, a boutique tourist hotel off Michigan Avenue where the city has been housing some homeless people with medical needs to shield them from the virus.

But Hotel 166 is operating at capacity, as are other facilities the city has established to temporarily house at-risk homeless individuals during the pandemic.

The result is Ewaniuk and many others like him are stuck in limbo at shelters while they wait to learn whether the city can find a safer place for them.

Up to this point, Chicago has experienced amazing success in limiting the impact of the coronavirus on homeless people, especially in comparison to other individuals being housed in congregate settings such as nursing homes or the jail.

More than two months into the crisis, nobody living in a homeless shelter is known to have died from COVID-19, while only two staff members have died.

That’s commendable when you realize many shelter residents are the same age and have similar health issues as residents of nursing homes, where the death toll has been horrendous.

There is argument about how much of the credit for that success goes to city government itself as opposed to a group of health care professionals and nonprofit homeless service agencies who stepped in to provide their own safeguards and brought the city along in the process.

But it’s clear the city has taken extraordinary steps as well, from taking over hotels to opening extra shelter spaces across the city — both for the benefit of those recuperating from the illness and for those who needed to be protected from it.

The concern now is whether the city will maintain that commitment as the pandemic moves to its next phase.

Just last week, Franciscan Outreach experienced its first major outbreak of COVID-19 since the start of the crisis, with 19 individuals out of 80 testing positive at its main shelter on Harrison Street.

None of them showed symptoms of the disease, and all were transferred to isolation centers the city arranged previously for homeless individuals in their situation.

Some of those individuals have underlying health conditions and probably should have been moved sooner, as should many who are still at the shelter, said Richard Ducatenzeiler, executive director at Franciscan Outreach.

Ducatenzeiler said he believes the city’s efforts to provide “shield housing” have been very effective and saved many lives.

But as he was reminded the hard way with last week’s outbreak, the job is not finished.

“We need more options. COVID-19 is not going away in the next couple of weeks or months,” said Ducatenzeiler, whose shelters took numerous precautions in the early stages of the pandemic that kept the virus at bay until now.

Ducatenzeiler said he sees permanent housing solutions as the biggest need, so the homeless people staying in the hotel could be moved into their own apartments where possible.

In the meantime, he wants the city to look at opening more hotel beds for the homeless.

In a new report, the volunteer group that helped organize the city’s COVID-19 response says another 400 high-risk homeless persons could benefit from opening more hotel rooms or subsidized apartments.

Chicago Coalition for the Homeless is urging the Lightfoot administration to use some of its federal pandemic relief funding under the CARES Act to put homeless people in apartments.

On Monday, a homeless resident at another Franciscan Outreach shelter where Ewaniuk is staying was hospitalized after coming down with a high fever and testing positive for the coronavirus.

“It scares the you-know-what out of me. I’ve been up all night worrying if I contracted it,” said Ewaniuk, who said he’s been hospitalized 14 times in the past for various ailments and is without his prescribed medication.

It will be a few days before he gets his test results.

Ewaniuk said this the first time in his life he’s been homeless. He was living with an aunt but got thrown out March 29 in a dispute over whether his comings and goings from her home were putting her at heightened risk of being infected by the virus.

Chicago deserves credit for protecting homeless people so far during the crisis. This is no time to ease up.

New analysis shows 76,998 Chicagoans impacted by homelessness

By Sam Carlson, Manager of Research and Outreach

A new report from the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless shows 76,998 Chicagoans experienced homelessness in 2018, per an annual analysis by CCH that relies on the most current U.S. census data.

Though the city’s aggregate homelessness count decreased from the prior year, Chicago saw a nearly 2,000-person increase among those who lived on the street or in shelters. It is a development with troubling connotations today: The city’s shelter system is a hotspot for COVID-19 infections and homelessness is expected to climb dramatically during the worsening economic downturn triggered by the pandemic.

Read the full report.

Per our analysis, the number who experienced homelessness decreased by 4,282 people, or 5.9% from 2017. This net decrease was concentrated exclusively among homeless people in temporary living situations, also known as living “doubled-up” or “couch-surfing.” The number who doubled-up in 2018 remained massive, at 58,872 Chicagoans.

Altogether, the 2018 homeless estimate is lower than the 86,324 people tallied in the 2017 estimate, released last year. Most of the decrease is due to methodological changes in how doubled-up homelessness is defined in the CCH analysis. That leaves an amended count of 81,280 people who experienced homelessness in 2017.

While there is no single definition of homelessness, CCH has developed a model to more accurately estimate the scope of homelessness in a city. Chicago’s estimate is drawn from data compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau and the city of Chicago, and includes families, youth, and adults who must double-up, often in overcrowded and unreliable living situations. It is likely that their housing needs were left unmet, as they are generally ineligibile for assistance if not living in shelters or on the street.

Many of those who doubled-up were students – children, teens, and some unaccompanied youth – who struggled to get an education without a permanent family home. In the 2018-19 school year, 16,451 Chicago Public Schools (CPS) students experienced homelessness, 87.5% (14,403) of whom doubled-up. Only 11% of homeless students were served by the shelter system.

This enrollment data is collected by the U.S. Department of Education, which recognizes all forms of homelessness that children and youth might experience. Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has a far more limited scope, not recognizing those who experience homelessness by temporarily living with others. It’s one reason why a city’s HUD-funded point-in-time count shows smaller homeless populations, as HUD only recognizes those who live on the street or in shelters.

By not recognizing the homeless status of those who temporarily stay with others, HUD shut out nearly 59,000 Chicagoans experiencing homelessness from accessing the housing support they need.

Hallazgos clave sobre la falta de vivienda en Chicago

Kluczowe ustalenia dotyczące bezdomności w Chicago

Key findings on Chicago homelessness (Simplified Chinese)

Because those in temporary living situations have little, if any, access to government assistance, it would be wrong to credit most of the drop to government spending on homeless programs. These 4,282 people were doubled-up, so they did not have access to that kind of government relief.

The only exception locally is a pilot housing program, proposed by CCH and funded by the city, that provides long-term housing subsidies to 100 homeless CPS families. The CPS Families in Transition (FIT) program has assisted about 400 children and parents since the 2017-18 school year. To secure housing assistance, city agencies assessed the most vulnerable families in six CPS schools, whether sheltered or doubled-up. After a vulnerability assessment, 59% of families that secured FIT housing had been doubled-up.

It’s clear families that double-up experience homelessness with as much difficulty as people who must turn to shelters or live on the street. It is well past time the federal government acted that way.

In the meantime, CCH is committed to making sure their stories are told.

CCH closes 5-day application period for new Mutual Aid Fund, assisting homeless and at-risk Illinois residents. Donations still accepted!

 

Updated May 28 – The coronavirus pandemic amplifies the hardships experienced by people who are homeless as well as those who have been homeless and risk facing it again.

Responding to pressing community need, Chicago Coalition for the Homeless (CCH) created the CCH Mutual Aid Fund. The fund will provide direct cash support of up to $500 to about 300 Illinois residents in need.

During the 5-day application period, which ran May 11 – 15, over 6,000 people applied. There are funds enough to assist about 300 applicants.

CCH continues to accept designated donations so that it can assist as many people as possible. If funds remain available, a second application period will be announced at a later date.

Individuals interested in supporting the fund with tax-deductible gift can donate at www.chicagohomeless.org/MutualAid

CCH grassroots leaders – people who have experienced homelessness and work in partnership with CCH staff – run the fund. Leaders designed the fund and will decide which requests receive support. Grants will be dispersed by late June.

“Tragically, the homeless community has been overlooked and underserved. The COVID-19 crisis is no exception. It’s important that the Mutual Aid Fund is governed by people with lived experience because we have a unique perspective on the needs of our community,” said Edrika Fulford, a grassroots leader and founding member of the Mutual Aid Committee.

“As an organization that works to build power for people who are often pushed to the side, it is important to CCH that we create a fund run by our leaders,” added Community Organizer Alyssa Rodriguez.

The 5-day application period opened at 9 a.m. Monday, May 11. People could apply online, in English or Spanish and at any hour, through the CCH website – www.chicagohomeless.org – until it closed at 5 p.m. on Friday, May 15.

Applicants also could apply over the phone, at (312) 641-4148. Phone calls were answered from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday. On the final day, May 15, calls were taken from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. If phone lines are busy, applicants can leave a message with their phone number. A CCH operator returned all calls by May 27 to help them fill out an application. Spanish-speaking operators were available.

The fund is open to residents of Illinois who are currently homeless or have been homeless in the past and at risk of becoming homeless again. Applicants must be at least 18 years old; or if they are an unaccompanied youth, at least 16 years old. Undocumented individuals and permanent residents are welcome to apply. No more than one grant per household will be awarded.

The fund will have up to $150,000 to distribute, thanks to support given by Affirm Cares Employee Foundation, Chicago Community COVID-19 Response Fund, Grassroots Collaborative, Homestead Affordable Development Corporation, Jay Pritzker Foundation, and over 190 individual donors.

“With over 80,000 people in Chicago experiencing homelessness, we know that this fund cannot help everyone facing hardship. But we hope that it can make a difference in the lives of those we can reach as we continue to advocate for broader systems change, putting both funding and policies in place that will end homelessness once and for all,” said Doug Schenkelberg, CCH’s Executive Director.

 

Chicago Tribune, Commentary: Imagine being homeless during COVID crisis. How Chicago can help.

By Dr. Evan Lyon and Brandi Calvert, MPH

At a time when staying at home has been equated with staying alive, perhaps few Chicagoans face greater peril from the coronavirus crisis than those experiencing homelessness. Then again, probably few people are more accustomed to living in crisis in the first place.

Long before the plague of COVID-19 rampaged across the city, homelessness in Chicago constituted an epidemic unto itself. And for the more than 86,000 city residents mired in its stranglehold, life was already a daily exercise in survival — it just didn’t come accompanied by the outpouring of government aid and the rush to find a cure that has arisen in response to the current pandemic.

In fact, efforts to remedy homelessness in Chicago have languished for precisely the opposite reason: a recurring scarcity of resources. So when the coronavirus buffeted the community, and Chicagoans were urged to stay home to protect their health, those experiencing homelessness were left virtually defenseless.

Indeed, homelessness in all of its configurations, from congregate shelters, to outdoor encampments, to “doubled-up” arrangements where multiple households huddle together under one roof, involves massing people in tight, dense environments that are fundamentally incompatible with the social distancing practices now considered sacrosanct in the fight against the pandemic.

To its credit, the city has recognized this danger. Last month, in announcing plans to provide safer spaces for people experiencing homelessness who are either infected by COVID-19 or at risk of contracting it, Chicago Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said, “Stopping the outbreak in Chicago’s homeless population has been one of the most challenging aspects of this response.”

To that end, the city reserved quarantine housing for people experiencing homelessness who are COVID-positive, and for a portion of those who are most vulnerable to the virus. These were important first steps. But subsequent events have demonstrated that it cannot be the last word. Recent news reports have documented a range of challenges impairing the quest to keep people experiencing homelessness safe. Not only have many shelters been compromised by rapidly escalating rates of COVID-19 infections, but due to the need to limit the normal capacity of these facilities to maintain social distancing, some people experiencing homelessness have no access to them in the first place.

Add to that a potentially catastrophic wave of foreclosures and evictions, and the current climate is dreadfully conducive to an escalation in homelessness that begets an escalation in COVID-19 infections.

Fortunately, the city has an immediate, and by some measures unprecedented, opportunity to address these emerging needs. As part of its share of new federal CARES Act coronavirus-relief funding, Chicago will receive millions of dollars in money designated for addressing homelessness.

Our strategy makes two key recommendations:

  • Allocate 40% of federal Community Development Block Grant funding to programs that provide assistance with rental, mortgage and utility payments to economically distressed households in danger of losing their homes. This would put some of the city’s skin in the game after Mayor Lori Lightfoot unveiled an effort last week to convince lenders and landlords to work cooperatively to grant concessions to tenants and homeowners who struggle to make housing payments.
  • Promote COVID-19 recovery and long-term housing prospects by designating 75% of federal Emergency Solutions Grants, a fund designated to combat homelessness, to an initiative that would place people who are experiencing homelessness into subsidized private rental units, rather than city-purchased quarantine and isolation spaces. Estimates show that this policy would cost only about one-third of what the city has invested in hotel rooms, and research has proven this model can form an effective “bridge” into permanent, stable housing for those without it.

The two measures won’t require new tax revenues or impinge on the city’s pre-existing budget — complications that are invariably cited during normal times when proposals to combat homelessness are introduced. Instead, they would channel CARES Act funds already coming to the city into programs that yield the biggest bang for the buck.

Moreover, they will allow at least some of the 86,000 Chicagoans experiencing homelessness to shelter safely in place not only for the duration of the pandemic, but possibly for good. As the current crisis has demonstrated in glaring terms, that’s crucial to the health and welfare of the entire city.

Evan Lyon, M.D., a doctor providing health care to people experiencing homelessness, is chief integrated health officer for Heartland Alliance Health.

Brandi Calvert, MPH, is senior director, housing operations, for the Center for Housing and Health, which provides permanent housing with services for people experiencing homelessness.

CCH joins education advocates asking Illinois to commit CARES Act education-funding to the needs of marginalized students

Chicago Coalition for the Homeless has signed onto a letter that asks Gov. JB Pritzker and the Illinois State Board of Education to prioritize using CARES Act federal education funding to reduce racial gaps and other disparities faced by marginalized students during and after the COVID-19 crisis.

With over 25 educational advocacy organizations signed on, the May 4 letter outlines immediate priorities of an emerging coalition led by Brighton Park Neighborhood Council, Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights, Chicago United for Equity, and Raise Your Hand for Illinois Public Education.

The new coalition is called the Partnership for Equity & Education Rights, or the PEER Illinois Coalition.

PEER IL believes that every child should have an excellent public school in their neighborhood and that the ongoing disinvestment in neighborhood public education disproportionately impacts children of color and young people living in poverty.

– Alyssa Phillips, Education Attorney

Introducing Policy Specialist Destiny Carter

Destiny Carter has joined the public policy staff at the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless. Her work is focused on reentry and criminal justice reform and Springfield-based advocacy. We asked Destiny to introduce herself. 

Destiny Carter (Photo by Claire Sloss)

My passion for advocating for underserved communities started at a very young age. Growing up in poverty, with a single parent, and moving frequently allowed me to see a variety of trauma and situations many people with low income face.

Throughout my childhood, I witnessed and personally experienced parents working 60+ hours a week to get by, families doubling up, and families living in questionable housing conditions. I saw the impact poverty had on generations and the impossibility of economic mobility.

Finally, I witnessed first-hand the curse that poverty placed upon black and brown people, people with disabilities or mental illnesses, and the formerly incarcerated. In living through these experiences, I knew that I had to be a facilitator for change.

This drive led me to law school, where I felt that helping individuals navigate through the problematic system of criminal justice could make a meaningful impact on these communities. Nevertheless, I soon realized that even with the great efforts public defenders and civil rights attorneys made, the underlying systems of oppression lingered.

Working with attorneys in civil rights law and criminal defense, I often saw how poverty and minority status had a significant impact on an individual’s entry into the criminal justice system. Even worse, I witnessed the additional barriers and trauma that criminal justice creates when an individual finally reenters society. This sparked my passion for reentry policy.

Policy is important to me because it allows me to advocate for change in the underlying systems that influence so many people’s lives. I am excited to be apart of a great organization like CCH and advocate for legislation that targets these underlying systems to create systemic change and allows people to stand on their own two feet.

Not only is this work important for the communities I’ve been apart of, it is also personal to me. I chose this work because I want to help families like my own create stability and break generational curses. My hope is that my time at CCH will help give communities a fighting chance and change the state of Illinois for the better.

 

Governor extends eviction relief, CCH joins advocates seeking increased relief for those who are unstably housed

By Samuel Carlson, Research and Outreach Manager

Princeton University’s Eviction Lab runs a COVID–19 Housing Policy Scorecard that now ranks Illinois 14th among the states in its eviction and housing-related responses to the pandemic.

Illinois’s ranking climbed 19 points after Gov. JB Pritzker’s issued an April 23 executive order that stops the initiation and enforcement of eviction orders during the current disaster proclamations, which run through May 30.

During this time, Illinois landlords cannot file eviction cases.

Additionally, law enforcement cannot remove a tenant from their housing or commercial business unless they are “a direct threat to the health and safety of other tenants.” The Illinois Commerce Commission has also required that utility companies suspend disconnections of electric, natural gas, and water service during the pandemic.

Eviction Lab cites 13 other housing measures that could be considered in Illinois to respond to the crisis. Without further action, the state is expected to see increases in evictions and, inevitably, a surge in the homeless population.

Chicago Coalition for the Homeless (CCH) has joined with other housing advocates, concerned about the growing threat of increased homelessness in a state with 3.9 million residential renters. We are pushing for several additional measures that would offer increased relief for those who are unstably housed.

As record-breaking unemployment rates continue to rise across the U.S., housing instability grows among Chicago households. An estimated 3% of applicants to the Chicago COVID–19 Housing Assistance Grant Program received financial support, leaving 81,000 households struggling to maintain their housing. In Chicago and across the state, advocates are coordinating efforts to curb the COVID–19 impact on renters precariously housed. 

At the local level, Chicago Ald. Matt Martin (47th) introduced a city ordinance that would give Chicago renters who recently lost their income a 12-month grace period to pay their rent. “Thousands of Chicagoans have seen their income reduced or eliminated entirely as a result of COVID–19, particularly individuals who work in the retail, food-service, and hospitality industries,” the legislation reads. The city ordinance also asks Gov. Pritzker to enact other housing payment relief efforts, including relief for mortgage holders.

At the local and state level, CCH joins the Right to Recovery Coalition in advocating for increased tenant protections and homelessness prevention funding. Legislative demands include “an indefinite moratorium on evictions, halt all court hearings and filings for evictions and foreclosures, and waive the collection of all rent, mortgage, and utility payments throughout the duration of the crisis. Tenants unable to move during the crisis must be granted automatic lease extensions, and officials must find immediate housing for all those who are houseless and unable to self-quarantine.”

On behalf of those in subsidized housing, CCH works in a coalition of eight other advocacy organizations, convened by Housing Action Illinois and Legal Aid Chicago. We advocate eviction moratoria for people precariously housed in programs managed by the Chicago Low-Income Housing Trust Fund (CLIHTF) and the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA). Tenants who live in the Rental Housing Support Program or Low-Income Housing Tax Credit supported properties will be among the hardest hit renters of subsidized housing because those programs do not reduce rent obligations when tenant income decreases.

At the federal level, CCH grassroots leaders are advocating with congressional representatives for emergency rental assistance, eviction and foreclosure moratoria, and homelessness prevention measures, following the recent CARES Act.

Increased relief for Illinois renters is needed to prevent a massive increase in homelessness. We are at a crucial time when a housing and homelessness response becomes paramount to flattening the curve.