2022 Year in Review Report

CCH is 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 day to prevent and end homelessness. This report highlights our advocacy, organizing, and legal services work over the course of 2022.

You can now view our 2022 Year-in-Review Report below:

2023 CCH advocacy sees wins for students experiencing homelessness and returning citizens

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

The Illinois General Assembly wrapped up its spring session this past Friday evening/Saturday morning (depending on if you think of the glass half full or empty).  Chicago Coalition for the Homeless (CCH) worked on several legislative initiatives to best support people experiencing homelessness. With fiscal concerns fueled by an unexpected drop in projected revenue, the budgeteers were a bit more cautious in allocating funding to new and additional services.  

Increased funding for housing and homelessness

This year Chicago Coalition for the Homeless asked for additional funding for four line-items. These line-items directly address housing security including homelessness prevention, homeless youth, permanent supportive housing, and emergency and transitional housing. Service providers struggle with the hard decisions around making cuts to services and turning people and families away when there isn’t enough space or funding to provide them with help. In addition, CCH asked for an increase in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) grant program.  

Continue reading 2023 CCH advocacy sees wins for students experiencing homelessness and returning citizens

Get Ready to Renew Your Medicaid Coverage

Medicaid customers have not had to renew their Medicaid coverage since the Covid-19 pandemic began. Medicaid pays for healthcare, like doctor visits, prescription medicine, and urgent emergency services.  

Now Illinois is starting renewals again to see if people are still eligible. Everybody’s renewal date is different, so it is critical that you get ready to renew.  

Don’t risk losing your Medicaid Coverage! Here is what you need to do:  

Click Manage My Case at abe.illinois.gov to: 

  • Verify your mailing address under “contact us.” 
  • Find your due date (also called redetermination date) in your “benefit details.”

Watch your mail and complete your renewal right away. 

You can also update your mailing address and find your Medicaid redetermination date by calling 1-800-843-6154.

If you are no longer eligible for Medicaid, connect to coverage at work or through the official Affordable Care Act marketplace for Illinois, GetCoveredIllinois.gov

Need assistance? Contact CCH Public Benefits Specialist Venus Rivera at venus@chicagohomeless.org.

Preschool Enrollment Support

Did you know? If you or your child is living in a shelter or another temporary living situation, your child can receive priority placement in Chicago Public Schools’ (CPS) preschool programs and preschool programs funded by the City of Chicago. Your child can be enrolled in preschool without proof of address, income, guardianship, or other documents normally needed for enrollment.

Chicago families with preschool-age children can enroll in preschool starting April 9 for the 2024-25 school year.

If your child is 4 years old on or before September 1, 2024, they are eligible for CPS full-day and half-day programs. If your child is 3 years old on or before September 1, 2024, they are eligible for CPS half-day programs and Community Based Programs.

Continue reading Preschool Enrollment Support

Community Care During Crisis: CCH Mutual Aid Fund Impact Report

At the onset of the COVID–19 pandemic, Chicago Coalition for the Homeless launched the Edrika Fulford Mutual Aid Fund and has distributed more than $450,000 in emergency cash to over 900 households facing homelessness.

In collaboration with the Mutual Aid Fund Governance Committee and researchers at the Inclusive Economy Lab of University of Chicago, the Community Care During Crisis: Mutual Aid Fund Impact Report webinar was hosted on Thursday, March 9.

Continue reading Community Care During Crisis: CCH Mutual Aid Fund Impact Report

Hidden Homelessness in the United States

Why Congress must change the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s definition of homelessness to align with other federal agencies

An FAQ created by Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, Family Promise, National Network for Youth, and SchoolHouse Connection. 

What is HUD’s role and how does it define and measure homelessness? 

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is the federal agency that oversees national policy and programs related to housing needs and fair housing laws. This includes programs intended to address homelessness, such as rental assistance, housing vouchers, public and subsidized housing, and funding for emergency shelters and wrap-around services. 

HUD defines homeless as “a person who lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence.”  

To estimate the number of people experiencing homelessness in the United States, HUD conducts an annual Point-in-Time (PIT) count on a designated night in January. The PIT count tallies people staying at shelters, transitional housing programs, or a place not meant for habitation, such as a park or car.  

Continue reading Hidden Homelessness in the United States

SB1367 Public Housing Access Bill

The Public Housing Access Bill (PHAB) created standards for Illinois Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) to use in the criminal background screening process, improving equity and access to affordable housing for individuals with criminal records. The bill shortened look-back periods and provides applicants with an opportunity to present mitigating circumstances before being denied due to their background.      

The current legislation will clarify data collection and the programs covered by PHAB.  

Sponsors: Sen. Belt, Sen. Peters, and Sen. Simmons

Updated June 9: Signed Into Law

Return to CCH’s 2023 Legislative

HB2481 / SB2241: Commit to Funding and Ending Homelessness in Illinois 

The recently completed state plan required by Governor Pritzker’s executive order, Home Illinois, creates a framework for achieving functional zero homelessness. The shortage of affordable housing compounded by losing employment, chronic physical and/or mental health problems, domestic violence, or a family turning away a child are just some of the circumstances that result in homelessness.  

State-funded programs to prevent and end homelessness receive deeply inadequate funding to achieve the goals of the plan. Providers have continuously stepped up to serve more people in crisis during the pandemic. Providers continue to struggle with: 

  • Increasing rents in the private market, making it harder to help people maintain or find a home.  
  • Agencies unable to pay competitive wages to retain and recruit qualified staff. 
  • Shelters losing donated spaces and volunteers due to COVID-19 concerns. 

This legislation will increase the housing and homeless service line items. These funds will help support the development of new housing opportunities, keep people on the brink of homelessness to maintain their housing, provide supportive services and make sure that staff in these programs are provided with a living wage.  

Supportive Housing Services  

  • Current Funding: $42.59 million 
  • Total Increased Funding Need: $17.9 million 

The Homeless Youth Program 

  • Current Funding: $7.28 million 
  • Total Increased Funding Need: $5 million 

The Homelessness Prevention Program  

  • Current Funding: $10 million 
  • Increased Funding Need: $5 million 

The Emergency and Transitional Housing Program 

  • Current Funding: $10.38 million 
  • Increased Funding Need: $51 million 

Sponsors: Rep. Mussman and Sen. Johnson

Update: March 14, 2023 – Committee Deadline Extended

Community Comments:

As organizers gather in Springfield and Witness Slips are submitted we will keep you up to date with community comments and opportunities to take action.

Return to CCH’s 2023 Legislative

HB2302 / SB1580: Creating Opportunities For Illinoisans in Need II (COIN II Act)

In 1996, Congress changed public benefits providing states with block grants to assist people living in extreme poverty. States are permitted to use the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant in the way they see fit, though the main purpose of the grant is to provide cash assistance to families. Of the billion dollars Illinois has in TANF funds, we use 4% on cash assistance.  The monthly grant for a family of 3, a parent and their two children, living in Illinois is $549. Parents share that the grant is not enough to meet their basic needs, including rent, utilities, clothing, personal hygiene products, diapers, transportation, etc. 

This legislation will increase monthly TANF grants to 50% of the FPL. Increasing the cash grant amount to at least 50% of FPL would lift a quarter of Illinois children living in extreme poverty out of extreme poverty, which would lead to improved economic, health, and educational outcomes. 

Sponsors: Rep. Evans and Sen. Johnson  

Update: March 10, 2023 – House: Committee/3rd Reading Deadline Extended-Rule May 19th, 2023

Community Comments:

As organizers gather in Springfield and Witness Slips are submitted we will keep you up to date with community comments and opportunities to take action.

Return to CCH’s 2023 Legislative

HB 3116: Learning to Support Students Experiencing Homelessness

For students experiencing housing insecurity, school is often the only place where things are stable and provide some form of normalcy. Maintaining their presence and consistent attendance is critical for their futures. Experiencing homelessness as an adult can be traumatic but can be more so for young children and teens. 

This legislation will provide training to teachers and staff to assist and support students experiencing homelessness.

Sponsors: Rep. Stuart and Sen. Villa

Updated June 9 : Signed Into Law

Return to CCH’s 2023 Legislative