The Associate Board of the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless will once again host an afternoon of indoor rock climbing at the Brooklyn Boulders at the Lincoln Park location (2121 N. Clybourn).
The event runs from 3 to 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 16. Tickets are $30 per person and can be purchased here. $20 of each ticket goes to support CCH’s mission to prevent and end homelessness.
Included with the ticket is an instructional demonstration by the venue staff and all the necessary gear for the climb. Guests are welcome to bring their own beverages to be consumed after the climb. This event happens rain or shine because it is indoors!
CCH’s Associate Board has been active since 2008, staging fundraising events to support CCH’s mission and spreading awareness of the work that CCH does. Anyone interested in learning more about how to become involved with the efforts of the Associate Board is welcome to contact the membership co-chairs through this interest form.
By Niya K. Kelly, Director of State Legislative Policy, Equity and Transformation
This year the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless (CCH) is advocating for several statewide measures that would remove barriers for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness. CCH policy and organizing staff, along with our grassroots leaders, are leading efforts to pass four bills that will impact students experiencing homelessness, extremely low-income families and children, and people using rental assistance or housing vouchers.
CCH is advocating for the following legislation:
HB 5265: Financial Equity in Education for Students (FEES)
Illinois school districts are permitted to charge students and their families annual mandatory fees. Fees can include textbooks, instructional materials, and school activities. These fees can add up quickly, putting a strain on low-income parents and guardians who are trying to make ends meet. Fortunately, public school students experiencing homelessness or whose families are classified as low-income have access to fee waivers. Charter schools are obligated to waive fees for students who are experiencing homelessness under the McKinney-Vento Homelessness Assistance Act but are not required to waive fees for low-income students and their families.
HB 5265 will create parity between students at public schools and charter schools to ensure students and families living in poverty are not burdened by financial barriers to their educations.
We are grateful for the strong coalition of people with lived experience, community members, direct-service and advocacy organizations, institutional partners, donors, and volunteers who are working every single day to prevent and end homelessness.
By now, many people are probably aware that recreational cannabis use is legal in Illinois. The Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (CRTA) legalized the use of recreational cannabis beginning January 1, 2020. The Act also established new ways for people with cannabis-related records to clear their records and work in the cannabis industry.
The Illinois House Appropriations-Human Services Committee will vote on HB4423 this Thursday, February 24 at 8 a.m.
HB4423 would support families living in extreme poverty by increasing the cash assistance families receive each month. This increase would ensure families are able to meet their basic needs including paying rent, purchasing clothing, hygiene products, and maintaining transportation. This legislation would also ensure that when a noncustodial parent pays child support that the money goes directly to the family. Currently, the state and federal government are given a portion of the child support payment.
Please file a witness slip on behalf of your organization or yourself to indicate your support for an increase in the TANF Cash Grant amount and ensure that child support payments go directly to the child.
If you can file a slip on behalf of your organization, include your organization name under “Representation.” If you do not represent a firm or organization, please write “NA” in the Firm/Business Or Agency and Title fields and “Self” under Representation.
To indicate your support of the bill, please click “Proponent.”
Under Testimony, select “Record of Appearance Only.”
Agree to the Terms of Agreement and click on the “Create(Slip)” button.
UPDATE: Thanks to the shared advocacy of our community, Facilitating Equity in Education for Students (FEES) (House Bill 5265) was moved out of committee with unanimous, bipartisan support on February 16. Sixty-five people submitted witness slips as proponents of the bill.
Representative Will Guzzardi, CCH Grassroots Leader and Board Member Maxica Williams, and CCH Education Attorney Alyssa Phillips testified at the hearing. CCH is grateful to be one step closer to ensuring every student in Illinois has access to a free and comprehensive education.
“The measure of any society is how willing we are to care for those who need us.”
Today in Springfield, Governor Pritzker began his 2022 Budget Address and State of the State with this statement from Margaret Mead, noting that this ethos has guided him and his administration as they have governed through the ravages of the pandemic.
The Governor’s proposal for the Fiscal Year 2023 budget strives to “protect the most vulnerable” and, on many fronts, it does just that. We understand that Illinois’ fiscal outlook continues to improve. With that positive direction, Illinois should look at this moment as an opportunity to invest in our lowest-income residents, particularly individuals and families who experience housing insecurity.
Photographer Jeffrey Wolin’s work has spanned from documenting Holocaust survivors to Vietnam war veterans, and he has now turned his camera towards Chicago’s unhoused population. He has called West Town his home for nearly 10 years, and he is now debuting a project about unhoused community members, Faces of Homelessness.
The work is currently on display at the Catherine Edelman Gallery at 1637 W. Chicago Ave. through February 15. And on Tuesday, February 8, CCH is hosting a virtual panel with the Chicago Public Library featuring Wolin, CCH Executive Director Doug Schenkelberg, Alderperson Matt Martin of Chicago’s 47th Ward and two photography subjects, Ronald Matthews and Melodi Serna.
Chicago Coalition for the Homeless’ Fund will provide $500 grants to 120 households that are or at-risk of becoming homeless.
Updated February 8 – Responding to continued community need, Chicago Coalition for the Homeless (CCH) reopened applications to the CCH Mutual Aid Fund for another round of 120 grants. The Fund will provide direct cash support of $500 to Illinois residents in need.
Applications were open Tuesday, February 1, and the 250-application cap was reached within two hours.
Many definitions of homelessness include “people temporarily staying with others”—doubling-up because of economic hardship or housing loss. Temporarily staying with others can have negative consequences that should be addressed, but the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s methods for enumerating homelessness exclude these arrangements, and Department of Education counts of doubling-up include only school children.