A federal district court judge in Chicago struck down a state law prohibiting panhandling in public streets and medians and ordered Illinois State Police not to enforce it. The ruling ends a lawsuit by two men experiencing homelessness who challenged the law. Michael Dumiak and Christopher Simmons sued after they were repeatedly ticketed and fined for asking passing motorists for help at a suburban Chicago intersection, while charities and religious groups collected donations at the same location without consequence.
By Niya K. Kelly, Director of State Legislative Policy, Equity and Transformation
Over the last week, members of the Illinois General Assembly met to take up several pieces of legislation with the state’s Legislative Black Caucus. After holding hearings in the summer of 2020, the Caucus developed an agenda with four pillars – education, healthcare, criminal justice, and economic opportunities – all centering dismantling systemic racism in Illinois.
What we witnessed on January 6 in Washington, D.C. was yet another example of the white supremacy that has governed our nation for centuries. This latest example comes on the heels of four years of President Trump and his enablers in Congress and his administration actively stoking the flames of hatred, division, and racism. These actions do not exist in a vacuum. The actions over the last four years have impacted people experiencing homelessness in ways that we have not yet completely reckoned with, but yesterday only amplified the harm.
Since March 2020, Illinois has had a moratorium (or freeze) on most eviction case filings across the state. The revised moratorium still allows Illinois landlords to evict their tenants, but it provides clarity on who is protected. The new moratorium applies until at least January 9, 2021.
Brigette Barber was living in an apartment in the Englewood neighborhood with her family in 2015, when she learned that the property was foreclosed and the person she was paying rent to did not own the building.
The apartment was barely habitable, with a nearly collapsed ceiling, no heat, and a persistent rodent infestation. And after Brigette’s grandson Jamarius’ blood tests indicated a concerningly high lead level, they discovered lead paint.
Thanks to your generous support on Giving Tuesday, Chicago Coalition for the Homeless exceeded our $60,000 challenge-grant goal, raising a total of $95,139.
Kudos to the 365 donors who generously gave $73,608 on Giving Tuesday. An additional 99 donors gave $15,282 in honor of Giving Tuesday before and after the official day, December 1. The College of American Pathologists (CAP) also raised $6,250 in honor of Giving Tuesday.
Tuesday, December 1 is Giving Tuesday, a global day of giving. All donations to the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless will be generously matched dollar-for-dollar up to $60,000 total by Blistex and an anonymous donor. Make a tax-deductible gift here.
By Samuel Carlson, Manager of Research and Outreach
As of November 14, Illinois landlords can begin filing eviction cases unless tenants provide a written statement that they should be protected by the COVID-19 eviction moratorium.
Since March 2020, Gov. Pritzker has put a moratorium (or freeze) on most eviction case filings in Illinois. A new executive order extends the moratorium another 30 days, but with fewer protections that will make it easier for Illinois landlords to evict their tenants. These changes apply until at least December 12.
On Monday morning, community advocates from the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless (CCH) called on the city to dedicate city resources to provide housing to Chicagoans who are living doubled-up. Before the COVID-19 pandemic began, nearly 77,000 people in Chicago experienced homelessness in 2018. Three in four of those households were doubled-up, which often involves a highly precarious living situation, moving frequently from one couch to another.
April Harris, who has lived experience with homelessness, explains, “Being doubled-up is absolutely awful. You wake up one day and don’t know where you will sleep the next night. The experience is traumatic, stressful and incredibly scary.”