Join our 2022 Team to End Homelessness

CCH is proud to be an affiliate charity for the 2022 Bank of America Chicago Marathon, scheduled for Sunday, October 9, 2022. We are now recruiting our next Team to End Homelessness, offering a limited number of guaranteed entries to the race.

Runners who join our team before November 30, 2021 will be required to set a $1,250 minimum fundraising goal, to be raised online in conjunction with their race training. Those who join our team after November 30 will be required to set a $1,750 minimum fundraising goal.

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Eviction and rental assistance resources in Illinois

A PDF version of this guide is available here (español).

Since August 1, 2021, landlords have been able to file for eviction for nonpayment of rent. On October 3, 2021, the State of Illinois began enforcing evictions. However, if you are struggling with your rent or are facing eviction, Illinois has a wide variety of resources to help you stay in your home.

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Restaurant Meals Program pilot seeks participating restaurants

By Niya K. Kelly, Director of State Legislative Policy, Equity and Transformation

In 2019, Chicago Coalition for the Homeless worked alongside Heartland Alliance and Shriver Center on Poverty Law to expand the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). This legislation allows people who are elderly, disabled, or experiencing homelessness to purchase prepared meals with their SNAP benefits at restaurants or supermarkets with hot bars. This change helps individuals who do not have access to a kitchen or are unable to use their kitchen safely.  

Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) is piloting the program in targeted zip codes before expanding it to the rest of the state.  

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Recent changes to federal programs that assist families

By Niya K. Kelly, Director of State Legislative Policy, Equity and Transformation

As we all continue to navigate the pandemic and its ramifications, Chicago Coalition for the Homeless would like to provide some information about updates to federal benefits programs that assist families and individuals in our community.  

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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 Douglass Park community groups will receive the proceeds 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.  

Continue reading As CPS identification of homeless students drops, CCH offers recommendations