By Michael Nameche, Director of Development
On September 24, the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless hosted its first virtual gala, No Place Like Home: Celebrating 40 Years of Advocacy.
Through generous sponsorships, including lead sponsors Baker McKenzie and JP Morgan, individual contributions, and the proceeds of an online auction, the event raised more than $225,000 to support CCH’s mission to prevent and end homelessness.
Supporters of CCH were treated to an online program that featured testimonials about the scope and impact of our work, as well as a great set of music from DJ Gemini Jones and a one woman rendition of the Wizard of Oz in under five minutes by Chicago’s Queen of Mischief and Make Believe, Molly Brennan.
The program, which was co-hosted by CCH’s Board President Caronina Grimble and grassroots leader Rauquaia Wallace, featured moving tributes to the lasting effect that CCH has on people it comes into contact through the leadership development efforts of its community organizing staff.
“Through the Coalition, I have gained lots of courage and learned a lot about advocating for the voiceless in my community. I see things wrong with my community now and I organize people and speak out against it,” grassroots leader Timothy Bell shared during the celebration. “I think about all the positive change that you guys have brought about in my life and the lives of so many other individuals throughout the city.”
During the second hour of the event, supporters had opportunities to get more engaged through three Zoom breakout sessions. The Advocacy 101 session gave an overview of both the vital importance of the upcoming Fair Tax Illinois referendum as well as CCH’s Bring Chicago Home campaign. CCH’s Associate Board hosted a session for those interested in learning more about the role this group plays in supporting CCH, as well as their exciting upcoming events. And finally, mixologist Tranette Williams demonstrated for those in attendance in her Zoom session how to create the evening’s delicious signature cocktail, The Ruby Red House Slipper.
Before concluding the program, CCH Executive Director Doug Schenkelberg shared his personal vision for the future:
“Now here’s the thing. I don’t want CCH to be around another 40 years. I want our next celebration to be us closing our doors because we’ve achieved our mission. I’m proud of the work we have done for the past four decades but am angry that we are still at it. I’m angry that those with the power to end homelessness do not have the will to do it. I’m tired of hearing now is not the time. But neither you nor I are giving up the fight. Thank you for your partnership and support in this fight.”
CCH is grateful to all the sponsors, donors, performers, and members of the Host Committee who made this night successful and special.
The full program can be viewed below.