CCH Statement: Mayor’s budget adds significant new resources for combatting homelessness, but dedicated revenue still needed

Mayor Lightfoot’s 2022 budget proposal unveiled on September 20  provides significant new resources to address homelessness. The new funding is included in her Chicago Recovery Plan which allocates the Local Fiscal Recovery Fund dollars included in the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). This initial investment is proof that organizing works. CCH and its partners Right to Recovery, Bring Chicago Home, and the Chicago Continuum of Care have coordinated town halls, community meetings and been on the ground across the city to ensure that these funds are used to help Chicago recover. 

Continue reading CCH Statement: Mayor’s budget adds significant new resources for combatting homelessness, but dedicated revenue still needed

City, CPS announce $500 grants for students experiencing housing instability

A new program will provide eligible CPS students with funding to assist with educational, living, and other expenses. 

By Alyssa Phillips, Education Attorney 

This week, Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Interim Chicago Public Schools (CPS) CEO Dr. José M. Torres announced the creation of the Chicago Families Forward Fund. It will provide a $500 microgrant to CPS students experiencing housing insecurity to assist with needs that families and students are facing. 

This funding is critical and a step in the right direction as families and students experiencing homelessness have faced housing instability, job loss, loss of family members and serious health issues during the pandemic. All Chicago families and students need housing and other resources to succeed in school. The direct, flexible payments to CPS families and students experiencing homelessness will allow families and students to address a variety of unique and urgent needs. 

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Decade-long partnership with Riot Fest raises more than $260,000

By Michael Nameche, Director of Development

CCH’s decade-long partnership with Riot Fest has resulted in a cumulative total of more than $260,000 raised to fight homelessness, and innumerable strong alliances formed. The value of the exposure to Riot Fest fans each year has been incalculable because we know that punk rockers make great activists!   

2021 is no different, as Team Riot Fest decided that CCH and some Douglas Park community groups will receive the money from the Thursday preview night ticket sales.   

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Class action settlement obtained for evicted tenants

CCH and NCLC obtained a class action settlement for former Chicago tenants in a lawsuit challenging a debt collector’s practice of collecting unlawful debt from them after they were evicted.

The Law Project of the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless (CCH) and the National Consumer Law Center (NCLC) successfully obtained a settlement in a class action lawsuit brought under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) challenging the debt collector’s practice of collecting unlawful debt. A federal judge approved the settlement agreement in the class action lawsuit in July.

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Connecting with homeless students is critical as students return to school

By Patricia Nix-Hodes, Director of the Law Project

This week marks the start of the 2021-22 school year in the Chicago Public Schools (CPS). Many suburban school districts have already returned. This year, it will be more important than ever for schools to identify and support students experiencing homelessness.

The pandemic has resulted in a decrease of more than 34% in the number of CPS students identified as homeless since the 2018-19 school year. When students are not identified, they miss out on services that help them succeed in school.  

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As CPS identification of homeless students drops, CCH offers recommendations

By Alyssa Phillips, Education Attorney

The number of students identified as homeless in Chicago Public Schools (CPS) declined 34% since the 2018-19 school year. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, students and school districts nationwide faced unprecedented challenges. School districts, including CPS, implemented remote, hybrid, and in-person learning models as COVID-19 cases and deaths ravaged communities, hitting communities of color especially hard. In CPS, it was particularly challenging for schools to identify and serve students experiencing homelessness.  

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New analysis shows decrease in Chicago homelessness; evidence points to people in poverty leaving the city

A new report from Chicago Coalition for the Homeless (CCH) shows a decrease in homelessness prior to the COVID–19 outbreak, per an annual analysis that relies on the most recent U.S. Census data. However, it is unlikely that the decrease describes people exiting homelessness by connecting to housing in Chicago. Findings suggest it may be more likely that people experiencing homelessness and poverty are leaving Chicago altogether. 

An estimated 58,273 people were experiencing homelessness in Chicago, IL in 2019, immediately prior to the COVID–19 outbreak, per an analysis by CCH using data from the Chicago Homeless Management Information System and the U.S. Census American Community Survey. This represents a 16% decrease of the same population in the prior year. 

Continue reading New analysis shows decrease in Chicago homelessness; evidence points to people in poverty leaving the city

CCH awards college scholarships to seven new high school graduates

Updated July 27 – Seven high school graduates who will receive a CCH college scholarship were celebrated at an outdoor celebration with CCH staff, selection committee members, and limited guests on July 26. 

CCH offers $3,500 renewable scholarships to students who succeeded in school while experiencing homelessness. Twenty students will be assisted next school year, including three sophomores, three juniors, and seven seniors. 

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Bring Chicago Home: Advocates reintroduce resolution at City Hall to combat homelessness

Outside City Hall on Wednesday, July 21, 2021, elected officials and advocates stood together to demonstrate support and to speak on the pressing need to address homelessness and housing instability. As Illinois’ Eviction Moratorium is set to be lifted, a dedicated funding stream for affordable housing is needed. 

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CCH closes application for second round of Mutual Aid Fund assistance

Chicago Coalition for the Homeless’ Fund will provide up to $500 to those who are or have been homeless. 

Updated July 12 – The COVID-19 pandemic amplified the hardships experienced by people who are homeless as well as those at-risk of homelessness. With the impending end of the eviction moratorium, many more Illinoisians will be placed further at-risk of homelessness. 

Continue reading CCH closes application for second round of Mutual Aid Fund assistance