CCH Statement: We condemn the murder of Adam Toledo

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.

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CCH’s 2021 state legislative agenda, explained

 

This spring the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless (CCH) is advocating for a number of statewide measures in Springfield that would help remove barriers for people experiencing and at risk of homelessness. CCH policy and organizing staff, along with our grassroots leaders, are currently leading efforts to pass three bills that will impact college students experiencing homelessness, extremely low-income families and children, and people with criminal legal system involvement, including returning citizens.   

CCH is advocating for the following legislation:  

SB190: College accessibility for students experiencing homelessness 

A study by Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago found that 29% of young adults experiencing homelessness are enrolled in college or another educational program.  

SB190 would create a HOUSE (Housing and Opportunities that are Useful for Students’ Excellence) liaison at Illinois colleges and universities to provide support and resources to students experiencing homelessness. The bill also requires institutions that have on-campus housing to prioritize placement for homeless students, including during school breaks. 

  • Sponsors: Sen. Glowiak Hilton (chief sponsor), Sen. Pacione-Zayas, Sen. Bennet, Sen. Peters (chief co-sponsors) 
  • SB190 Fact Sheet 

Continue reading CCH’s 2021 state legislative agenda, explained

Housing and employment reform bills signed into law

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.” 

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American Rescue Plan Act includes funding to combat homelessness, poverty, and housing instability

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.

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CCH to convene our second Advocacy Cohort

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.

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CCH Scholarship Program graduate Mahalia Crawford successfully defends master’s thesis

We are proud to share that 2018 CCH Scholarship Program graduate Mahalia Crawford successfully defended her master’s thesis titled “No Time to Grieve: Mothers of the Movement and the Media” last November. She is pursuing a PhD in sociology, with a focus on race and crime, at Louisiana State University. 

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CCH on Gov. Pritzker’s budget address: Progressive revenue options to fund housing services needed

Chicago Coalition for the Homeless (CCH) has always agreed with Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s assertion that a budget is a moral document and reveals our values. We applaud the governor’s leadership and support his efforts to close corporate tax loopholes and move forward with a plan to decouple our state tax code. We believe this is a step in the right direction.

We recognize the challenges posed by the current budgetary constraints due to the pandemic, the missed opportunity to pass a progressive income tax, and ongoing budgetary difficulties. But CCH believes that in these unprecedented times, we need to ensure that those who are most in need are provided with the proper supports. Flat operational spending does not account for inflation or the rise in the number of individuals accessing social services. We are on the precipice of a housing crisis, and we have a responsibility to do what we can to ensure that people in need of housing supports have access to these services.

Continue reading CCH on Gov. Pritzker’s budget address: Progressive revenue options to fund housing services needed

Have School-Aged Children? You May Be Eligible for Grocery Benefits During COVID

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, students who normally get free or reduced-price meals at school may be eligible for a program to help your family buy groceries. This program is called Pandemic-EBT (P-EBT).

For each day that K-12 schoolchildren lack access to an in-school lunch, P-EBT provides eligible families with $6.82 in benefits per student, per day. These benefits are provided on a card that can be used like a debit card to purchase food at any grocery store that accepts LINK cards. Benefits will be issued starting in March but they will be retroactive to the start of the 2020-2021 school year(August/September); benefits will go through the end of the school year.

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To end homelessness, we must embrace discomfort during and after cold snap

CCH Executive Director Doug Schenkelberg submitted the following op-ed to Crain’s Chicago Business, published February 4, 2021.

The city is bracing itself for extreme weather, with the temperature predicted to drop into negative digits for a number of days. During cold snaps like this, many eyes turn toward our unhoused neighbors. This year, homelessness is a crisis within a crisis – the pandemic – and it has people and institutions pivoting to add resources to protect people experiencing homelessness from this life-threatening cold, as it should. But when the cold abates and shifts back to more moderate winter temperatures, those resources will recede, and success will be measured by how few people were physically harmed rather than how many people are no longer homeless. 

Continue reading To end homelessness, we must embrace discomfort during and after cold snap