We are stronger together: CCH raises over $127K on Giving Tuesday thanks to 537 individual donors and our generous matching gift partners 

The staff and volunteers of CCH are overwhelmed with gratitude for the enthusiastic support offered this past Giving Tuesday. Over 500 generous people contributed to CCH during this annual celebration of giving.   

CCH is grateful to longtime supporters Robert Pasin & Muriel Quinn, Revolution Brewing, and Metropolitan Capital Bank for donating a collective $42,500 in matching funds.  

John Carruthers, Director of Communications for Revolution Brewing, had this reflection on Giving Tuesday: “This year has opened a lot of eyes on how many of our neighbors go without a warm, safe place to rest. Revolution is proud to support the work that CCH does, and the incredible generosity of their donors is something that continues to give us hope. We’re glad we could help amplify the voices of the individual donors whose giving does so much for Chicagoans affected by homelessness.” 

CCH recruited 30 staff, Board members, and Associate Board members to follow their lead and become Giving Tuesday Ambassadors, spreading news of CCH’s work and enlisting peers to invest in our advocacy.  

Michael Rose, Chairman & CEO of Metropolitan Capital shared, “At Metropolitan Capital, we too believe in strength through community. Our team is grateful to have been a small part in the collaborative efforts to raise critical funds for CCH this Giving Tuesday, and we are proud to continue supporting their mission to build inclusive, hospitable communities – together.” 

Ambassador Work

Ambassadors employed all types of creative tactics to call attention to CCH’s impact. Development Director Michael Nameche thanked his personal network of supporters throughout the day with covers of rock albums with googly-eyes added. Director of Communications Vanessa Álvarez punctuated the day with short videos to demonstrate what she had learned about the issue of homelessness since coming to work at CCH. Sophie Babcock, Associate Board Vice President of Events, returned to be an ambassador for the seventh straight year, gathering an impressive 31 donations in 24 hours.   

Sophie had this to say about the experience: “I can’t think of a better organization to support on Giving Tuesday, a day that comes during many Americans comfortably putting up holiday decor in their homes and eating leftovers with family. Each year I remind my network how lucky they are to be in this position, and each year I am humbled by the outpouring of support.” 

Thank you to everyone who made contributions of any size to CCH on Giving Tuesday. We often like to say that we are stronger together, and this Giving Tuesday is one more example of that collective power to make change.  

Remembering CCH Board Member Brady Harden Jr. 

CCH is deeply saddened as we mourn the loss of Brady Harden Jr., a long-time member of our Board of Directors and a tireless advocate for underserved communities.  

Brady served as the President/CEO of Inner Voice for over 18 years, an impressive tenure in which he oversaw the expansion of shelter services from just one facility to eight.   

It was this dedication and strategic foresight that caught the attention of Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, who appointed Brady to the role of Statewide Housing Coordinator for Long Term Care Reform.  Brady attended the bill signing ceremony for the Illinois Homeless Bill of Rights Act, passed in 2013 thanks to CCH advocacy.  

Brady joined the Board of Directors of CCH in 2011 and held many leadership roles until his passing this October.   

We are grateful for Brady’s many contributions to CCH and lifelong commitment to working to end homelessness. He will be greatly missed. 

A tribute from CCH Board member, Bernie Dyme:  

“I had the pleasure and honor of serving with Brady for many years on the CCH board. His passion for ending homelessness and working for those in need of assistance was unmatched. Brady was a wonderful, warm person with a great sense of humor. May his memory be a blessing.” 

Brady retired as the Vice President of Housing at Grand Prairie Services, leaving a lasting impact on the organization and the lives of those he helped. 

A tribute from CCH Board member, Holly O’Hern:  

“It was an honor to be on the Board of Directors of the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless with Brady. Beautiful to learn how his whole life was filled with contributions for the better. May he rest in peace.” 

A tribute from CCH Board member, Jaquie Algee:  

“Brady was my brother and friend, someone I admired and looked up to. He was quite the gentleman, debonair in his style of dress, manner of walk and smooth moves on the dance floor. Brady carried himself in such a manner that young men could admire and model after. 

That was Brady the man! But Brady the executive director, committed to housing the unhoused, offering and securing wrap around services for those trying to reestablish themselves in life was something that Brady stayed determined to do and he did with such excellence in his work, commitment and service on the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless board of directors. 

Brady the family man was devoted to my sister Stephanie, their children, family and his Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity. I could say more about my brother Brady, as I fondly referred to him, but the one thing I would like to say in closing is that the world was a better place because Brady Harden lived!” 

Pat speaks up to help others

Black grandmother and her three grandkids -- ages 11, 12, and 16 -- pose smiling with their arms around each other. They are sitting on a bench and wearing winter jackets. Banner text reads: Pat speaks up to help others

Born to a large family with nine siblings, Patricia “Pat” Franklin understands the importance of working together so that everyone has what they need to thrive. A grandmother of three and self-described jokester, Pat aspires to make the world better for families like hers.

“Growing up, I never knew we were poor,” recalls Pat. “Sleeping three to a bed – I just thought that’s the way it was. My mother was always helping and taking people in. She taught me that there’s always someone else out there who is worse off than you.”

Today, Pat channels her mother’s generous spirit by serving as grassroots leader with CCH, leading advocacy efforts to support people experiencing homelessness.

“CCH is like my second family,” Pat said. “I just love being here and advocating. By sharing my story, I hope it helps the next family and prevents them from going through what I did.”

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Chicago City Council approves 2024 budget with marginal increases to tackle homelessness crisis 

Bring Chicago Home campaign supporters hold a banner reading "Bring Chicago Home" in front of a crowd.

By Sam Paler-Ponce 

November 20, 2023 

Chicago’s City Council greenlit the 2024 budget, allocating additional resources to respond to the city’s growing homelessness crisis. While the approved budget reveals targeted increases in critical services, much more is needed than these small increases subject to annual appropriations.

Coalition for the Homeless (CCH) estimates 68,440 Chicagoans experiencing homelessness at the beginning of 2022, the most recent data available. This reflects a 2,829-person increase from the previous year—up 4.30 percent. This estimate is inclusive of more than 44,000 Chicagoans doubling up. 

While we are happy to see that some line items are growing—by about 15-percent in total, or a $7 million increase—much more is needed than these small incremental increases subject to annual appropriations. Let’s dive into the key aspects of this budget and understand where the city’s resources are allocated. 

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Celebrating Julie Dworkin, A Champion for Homelessness Advocacy 

By Sam Paler-Ponce and Mary Tarullo

Twenty-seven years at the same organization is an incredible achievement and Julie Dworkin, Director of Policy at Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, is understandably ready to take on new challenges. She has announced her last day will be November 3.  

Julie is recognized locally and nationally as a committed and tireless advocate and policy expert. She stands out for her unwavering dedication and resilience. Her efforts have made a profound impact in addressing Chicago and Illinois homelessness and housing issues. 

Over the years, Julie played both a contributing and leadership role in a wide range of important policy and budgetary changes at both the city and state level. Below is just a sampling of efforts that Julie lent her presence and voice to. 

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Nia remembers her roots as she spreads her wings

Close-up smiling portrait of Nia Hill, a Black woman in her 20s. She is wearing a white top and large, round, tortoise-shell glasses. Banner text reads: Nia remembers her roots as she spreads her wings.

Nia Hill wants you to know that the West Side of Chicago has great people who do great things. Born and raised in Chicago’s North Lawndale neighborhood, she also understands first-hand the barriers that residents in these systemically marginalized communities face.  

“A quick Google search tells you what you want to know,” said Nia on where she grew up, noting the prevalence of violence and poverty caused by institutional racism.  

Nia’s family experienced homelessness when she was in high school after losing their Section 8 voucher. They “bounced around a lot” – staying with an aunt, people from church, and hotels before eventually settling into stable housing.  

“It was a humbling experience,” she recalls, “learning how to do without a place you would normally consider home.”  

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Eating wings for a good cause

CCH’s 3rd Annual Wing Eating Contest was held on September 28 at Woodie’s Flat. Ten fearless competitors squared off to see who could eat the most wings in 30 minutes, raising over $15,700 to support our mission to prevent and end homelessness.

This event was organized by our incredible Associate Board, a group of volunteers who support our advocacy efforts and help raise awareness in their communities.

L – R: Charlie Beneke (2nd Place), Evan Anderson (3rd Place), and Mike Kightly (first 2023 Entry into the Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner Hall of Fame*) *$1,000 or more raised in donations.



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The return of Sips on a Ship – an enjoyable success! 

On the evening of Sunday, August 13, the Associate Board welcomed CCH supporters to board the Chicago’s Leading Lady for a cruise down the Chicago River.  It was a welcome return of an event last staged in 2019.  

CCH supporters (L to R) – Ailleen Gorospe, Ebony Thompson, Claire Sloss and Holly O’Hern toast to another successful Associate Board Fundraiser 


Guests mingled both above deck and below and were treated to a fishbowl raffle of over 45 prizes.  The night was made special by the generous spirit of the ship’s captain and crew.  As attendee Carol Marchán noted: “A familiar tone of camaraderie and friendship was felt throughout the night; unity and contagious positive energy was in the air. The “Sips on a Ship” event was made memorable by the welcoming staff on board, the captain on Chicago’s Leading Lady with his polite and conversational guidance, the unlimited Spanish tapas and drinks, the mesmerizing Chicago skyline and unbeatable energy. I cannot wait for next year.” 

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Cheers! For Systemic Change

11 years ago, the Associate Board of the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless was trying to brainstorm a name for their newest fundraising event, a guest bartending night.  “The prevailing joke was, we needed to come up with a better name than my first suggestion: Carousing for Housing,” remembers current Board Secretary, Shane Hopkin.  Eventually, the name Cheers for Change was suggested.  “We were celebrating systemic change, not your spare coins,” explains CCH’s Director of Development, Michael Nameche.  

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CCH boosts college scholarship amount, awards to six new students

Six first-year college students won scholarships awarded by the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless (CCH) in June. They hail from Chicago, Evanston, and West Chicago and will attend universities in Illinois and Washington, D.C.  

Launched in 2004, CCH’s scholarship program provides up to five years of financial support as students work towards a college degree. Twenty-four students will receive scholarships during the 2023 – 24 school year. They include six first-years, six sophomores, seven juniors, and five seniors. They are attending colleges and universities in California, Illinois, Georgia, Michigan, Washington, D.C., and Wisconsin. 

Continue reading CCH boosts college scholarship amount, awards to six new students