Tribune: Illinois should protect tenants, property owners from harms of ‘crime-free’ housing laws

By Jenna Prochaska, February 23, 2024

After examining the serious harms and civil rights threats posed by CFNOs, I have argued that state governments need to be a part of the solution. Responding to these ordinances with a city-by-city approach leaves too many tenants vulnerable. Each challenge may require years of investigation, advocacy and litigation. By the time the issues are addressed in one community, similar problems have arisen in neighboring communities that have passed their own version of a CFNO. One state-level advocate describes the effort to respond to harmful CFNOs on tenants in this way as like playing “Whac-a-Mole.”

States are particularly well situated to employ their broad legislative and enforcement powers to combat the harms caused by CFNOs. California recently enacted a law aimed at doing just that.

Illinois now has the chance to do the same by passing the Community Safety through Stable Homes Act. This bill is a critical step toward protecting tenants in our state who have suffered the effects of these dangerous ordinances for too long.

Now is the time for the Illinois legislature to act — before more harm is caused to tenants and property owners throughout the state.

WTTW: With Ballot Decision Looming, Chicago Homeless Advocates Push for Support and Funding

Mayor Brandon Johnson and other BCH supporters celebrate together inside Chicago City Hall.

By Andrea Guthmann, February 19, 2024 

The Chicago Coalition for the Homeless estimates more than 68,000 people in Chicago are experiencing homelessness. That higher number includes people who are doubled up, or temporarily living in someone else’s home, something the federal data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development does not include. Chicago voters are gearing up for a momentous decision on how to address homeless. On March 19, a question will be on the ballot asking whether to increase taxes on sales of high-end homes and commercial properties to help fund homelessness prevention.

“Not only are the homeless disproportionately people of color, but there are 20,000 CPS students impacted by homelessness,” says Carol Sharp, president and CEO of The Night Ministry. “Using that real estate transfer tax as an option to ensure that those who are purchasing homes over a million dollars are able to contribute to building a budget around solving homelessness is vitally important.”

CCH is a proud coalition supporter of Bring Chicago Home.

WTTW: Firsthand, Brian

FIRSTHAND is a local public television program presented by WTTW. Aired 02/19/24.

Brian walked into St. Leonard’s Ministries with the goal of leaving homelessness behind him. He’s taking advantage of his new life and repairing broken family relationships after years of couch surfing and sleeping in vehicles. Brian is making his voice heard through advocacy work with the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless.

WGN: More on the Bring Chicago Home referendum

On March 15, Chicago voters will have their say on a referendum that would raise the one-time transfer tax on properties over $1 million to fund homelessness prevention in the city. It’s called the Bring Chicago Home referendum. Doug Schenkelberg, the executive director of the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, and Tynetta Hill-Muhammad, an organizer for the bring Chicago Home Ordinance, joined the WGN Evening News to talk more about it.

Sun-Times: Get facts straight on Bring Chicago Home real estate transfer tax referendum

By Joshua Wilmoth,  Feb 7, 2024

As a resident of Chicago, and as the president & CEO of Full Circle Communities, a Chicago-based nonprofit dedicated to increasing access to housing through affordability and resident services, I am invested in economic development across Chicago. I strongly support the Bring Chicago Home initiative, which aims to address our city’s homelessness and housing affordability crisis by making the real estate transfer tax or RETT — the sales tax paid by property buyers — more progressive.

WTTW: Volunteers, Faith Leaders Working to Help Unhoused Chicagoans Amid Freezing Temperatures

By Emily Soto (WTTW), January 17, 2024

Most of us can avoid Chicago’s frigid temperatures just by staying home. But for those experiencing homelessness, the solution is not that simple. Local organizations work directly with those individuals, hoping to provide relief and find long-term solutions.

Many groups like Thresholds are looking to the Bring Chicago Home ballot measure — which would change the real estate transfer tax in order to raise revenue to house the homeless — as the way forward.

CCH is a proud coalition member of Bring Chicago Home.

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Chalkbeat: Many of Chicago’s migrant students may be entitled to bus service. But are schools telling them?

By Reema Amin, Chalkbeat

The 60-day shelter rule is “going to require families to move more often, and it makes it more challenging to get to the school of origin and stay stable in their school of origin,” said Patricia Nix-Hodes, director of the Law Project of the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless. “If they are eligible for hardship transportation, they should be getting it.”

“The onus isn’t on the family who is newly arrived to Chicago to figure out what services might be available for transportation,” Patricia Nix-Hodes, director of the Law Project of the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless said.

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Sun-Times: Blankets, gloves, a tent and some propane protect some homeless Chicagoans during ‘brutal’ cold snap

A man in a heavy parka warms himself by an outdoor trash fire.

By David Struett, Chicago Sun-Times

The Chicago Coalition for the Homeless doesn’t perform street outreach, and instead focuses on advocacy and legal assistance.

Its executive director, Doug Schenkelberg, said that extreme weather events — such as this cold snap or heat waves in the summer — are examples of why the city needs more robust homeless services.

“We push over and over that we need better funded long-term strategies, primarily long-term access to housing, so when crisis like this pops up, we have fewer people in harm’s way to begin with,” he said.

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Block Club: Bring Chicago Home Advocates Say ‘Frivolous’ Lawsuit Won’t Block Ballot Question

Bring Chicago Home supporters rally with banners and signs inside of City Hall.

By Alex V. Hernandez, Block Club Chicago

A lawsuit trying to block the city from raising certain real estate taxes to support homelessness services is a last-ditch attempt by wealthy landlords and real estate agents to protect their profits, advocates of the measure said this week.

Doug Schenkelberg, Chicago Coalition for the Homeless’ executive director, said the lawsuit is “a desperate attempt to deprive Chicago voters of their right to have their voices be heard.”

“This lawsuit is a political maneuver, orchestrated to protect the interests of greedy landlords and multi-national real estate corporations at the expense of Black, Brown, working class and homeless Chicagoans,” Schenkelberg said.

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DFSS Announcement: Winter Beds Availability

A blue stripe and red star form the DFSS logo, accompanied by the text: "DFSS, Department of Family and Support Services"

DFSS officially launched the Salvation Army’s winter beds at the Freedom Center. This is an overnight shelter that will serve single men and will be filled via 3-1-1 referrals, but also allow people to walk up or be dropped off by Outreach Teams. There will be 100 beds available every night.

Clients that are placed in this shelter through the walk up/outreach team drop-off option will not need an SR #, but will instead sign in upon arrival starting at 6:30 p.m.

Salvation Army Freedom Center

  • 825 N Christiana Ave, Chicago, IL 60651
  • South Door, Door A
  • Overnight Congregate-Bed Shelter

Normal Hours of Operation:

Weekends

  • Fridays: Referrals start at 6:30 pm
  • Saturday-Sunday: Referrals can be made 24/7
  • Monday mornings, the shelter will close at 8:30 a.m. directly after breakfast

Monday – Thursday

Shelter will operate as an overnight shelter from 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 a.m. the next day.

If a count of winter beds is needed, please call the front desk at 312-667-2204