Federal court: State anti-panhandling law is unconstitutional

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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.

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Lame-duck wrap up: New reentry legislation to expand housing and jobs access, while the House elects its first Black speaker

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.  

Continue reading Lame-duck wrap up: New reentry legislation to expand housing and jobs access, while the House elects its first Black speaker

Statement: CCH calls on federal leaders to remove the President from office

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. 

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Annual Homeless Persons’ Memorial: Remembering Chicagoans who died while homeless in 2020

On December 15, more than 250 advocates and community members gathered virtually to honor and remember Chicagoans who died this year while experiencing homelessness.

Now in its 11th year, the 2020 vigil was live-streamed from Old Saint Patrick’s Church, with both live and pre-recorded elements integrated throughout the presentation. 

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State moratorium on evictions extended through January 9, with modifications

By Samuel Carlson, Manager of Research and Outreach 

Gov. Pritzker is extending a revised eviction moratorium into the New Year.  

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.  

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Brigette turned her struggle into action

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.

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Thanks to you, Giving Tuesday supporters raised more than $95,000

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.

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Illinois eviction moratorium extended for select households, but eligible tenants must take action

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.

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Community Advocates Call on City to Fill Gap Left by Feds to House Doubled-up Homeless Households

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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.”

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