Earlier this month, Vanessa joined our staff to guide the creation of a new two-person department which will focus, enhance and streamline CCH’s existing communications efforts, ensuring alignment with CCH’s strategic goals and efforts to advance racial equity. We are excited to have her join our staff.
E. Vanessa Álvarez is a strategist and marketing and communications pro from and living in Chicago. Her love for her city and its people lead her to be a catalyst for its communities.
Vanessa was born with natural curiosity, always asking questions. Early on, storytelling became a part of her life. So much so that in 2013, Vanessa wrote her mother’s obituary, which caught the eye of an editor. Vanessa was interviewed and a week later a full-page feature about her mother was printed in the Chicago Sun-Times. This affirmed to Vanessa that she could and should continue to base her career on words.
Continue reading CCH welcomes Vanessa Álvarez to head our new Communications Department
American Rescue Plan brings $800 million in federal funding; Illinois to receive $33 million.
By Patricia Nix-Hodes, Director of the Law Project
The U.S. Department of Education recently announced plans, as part of the American Rescue Plan, to distribute $800 million in federal funding to ensure that students experiencing homelessness are identified, enrolled in school, and provided with services to ensure their success. This week, $200 million of the funding was released to states. Illinois will receive a total allocation of more than $33 million with $8.2 million already released.
Continue reading Help for Students Experiencing Homelessness Is On The Way
May 4 forum will call on the city to create safe, stable housing.
Bring Chicago Home (BCH), in partnership with Right to Recovery, CCH, and other BCH steering committee members, will host a virtual citywide housing forum, We Demand Better.
Continue reading Bring Chicago Home to host a citywide housing forum
Yesterday there was a measure of accountability for one person in the form of three guilty verdicts. We send our love and support to George Floyd’s family and loved ones in this moment.
Continue reading CCH Statement: Derek Chauvin verdicts a measure of accountability, but not justice
Chicago Coalition for the Homeless (CCH) stands in support of the Chicago Inclusionary Housing Ordinance put forth by many of our partners in the fight for affordable housing in Chicago. We are disappointed that Mayor Lightfoot’s alternative ordinance fell so far short of what was needed to stem gentrification and to begin to close the housing affordability gap. Chicago needs 120,000 more homes affordable to our city’s residents who are living on low wages and/or experiencing homelessness.
Continue reading CCH Statement: Mayor Lightfoot’s Reform of the Affordable Requirements Ordinance falls short
The murder of Adam Toledo at the hands of Chicago Police is indefensible. As an organization that works regularly with Chicago youth, we see in Adam what we see in other young people we work with every day – people that are important members of our community who make our city stronger and better. He was killed because the foundation of our policing system is violence and racism, and it runs through every piece of the machinery.
Continue reading CCH Statement: We condemn the murder of Adam Toledo
As a part of the Restoring Rights and Opportunities Coalition of Illinois (RROCI), CCH advocated for the inclusion of two housing and employment reform bills within the economic opportunities pillar of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus’ four pillar lame-duck session agenda.
The two bills, the Employee Background Fairness Act (SB1480) and the Public Housing Access Bill (SB1980) passed both chambers of the General Assembly in January, and were signed into law by Gov. J.B. Pritzker on March 23. Both bills were sponsored by Rep. Sonya Harper and Sen. Christopher Belt.
“This pillar advances our common vision for equity and inclusion by recognizing and addressing communities that have historically been cut out of the conversation,” Pritzker said before signing the bills. “That means addressing the impact of a criminal record, which shouldn’t prevent you from ever getting a job or having a roof over your head.”
Continue reading Housing and employment reform bills signed into law
Published March 26, 2021
We feel it is important to address both the content and framing of the issues identified by Greg Hinz in his column bemoaning the state of the CTA during the pandemic. (“Is the CTA ready for commuters to come back?” March 11).
Most troubling is the way he raises the issue of people experiencing homelessness who are seeking shelter on the trains. He lumps people experiencing homelessness with smoking and garbage as annoyances that need to be removed in order for the city to thrive. Describing people in this light, as well as taking pictures of them while they are sleeping without their permission, is dehumanizing, inappropriate and does not help move us toward solutions that end homelessness.
Continue reading Crain’s Chicago Letter to the Editor: There’s a solution to people seeking shelter on the CTA
By Mary Frances Charlton, Youth Health Attorney
On March 11, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act (ARP) to address the continuing COVID-19 health and economic crisis. This landmark $1.9 trillion relief package includes nearly $50 billion in essential housing and homelessness assistance. The bill also includes increases to nutritional assistance, stimulus funding, increased child tax credits and more.
Below is an outline of what we view as the strongest steps taken in ARP to combat homelessness, poverty, and housing instability. Given the wide-ranging scope of ARP assistance, this list only includes certain portions of the funding allocations ARP contains. However, the full text of the bill can be found here.
Continue reading American Rescue Plan Act includes funding to combat homelessness, poverty, and housing instability
Are you concerned about the growing issue of homelessness in Chicago? Interested in developing new skills and making an impact to address homelessness head on? Looking to connect with like-minded individuals and get valuable field experience?
The CCH organizing department will convene a Spring Advocacy Cohort, which aims to build power that will lead to real, systems change. By participating in this cohort, you will have the opportunity to learn core principles of community organizing, network with other social justice advocates, and better understand how to implement tools to shift power and make policy change. All participants will receive a certificate upon completion.
Continue reading CCH to convene our second Advocacy Cohort