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.
Individuals were able to apply online in English or Spanish through the CCH website or over the phone. Spanish-speaking operators are available.
The fund is open to current residents of Illinois who are currently homeless or who are at risk of homelessness due to eviction notice or domestic violence. Applicants must be at least 18 years old; or if an unaccompanied youth, at least 16 years old. One grant per household.
Those who received a CCH mutual aid grant during one of prior two grant cycles are not eligible to receive funds again. Those who applied for a grant in the past but were not selected to receive funds are welcome to apply again.
CCH grassroots leaders – people who have experienced homelessness and work in partnership with CCH staff – run the fund. Leaders designed the fund and will process applications to determine which requests will receive support.
Applicants can expect to hear from us regarding the status of their application by March 2, and all funds will be distributed by April 1.
The CCH Mutual Aid Fund first launched in May 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Over almost two years, the fund has served more than 540 households experiencing homelessness.
The fund expects to distribute another $60,000, thanks to support given by Willie Wilson, Grassroots Collaborative, and other generous donors. But requests for support are always greater than available funding. CCH continues to accept designated donations so that it can assist as many people as possible. Individuals interested in supporting the fund can donate at www.chicagohomeless.org/MutualAid.
Please contact Alyssa Rodriguez at (773) 906-3568 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on the program.
“With over 58,000 people in Chicago experiencing homelessness, we know that this fund cannot help everyone facing hardship. But we hope that it can make a difference in the lives of those we can reach as we continue to advocate for broader systems change, putting both funding and policies in place that will end homelessness once and for all,” says Doug Schenkelberg, CCH’s Executive Director.
“Helping others with financial grants to assist them through the struggles of their homeless crisis was empowering. Knowing that I was able to help others with a financial means during the pandemic that had no other help was truly the greatest way to advocate for the homeless and help them.”
-Maxica Williams, grassroots leader and Mutual Aid Committee member
“Tragically, the homeless community has been overlooked and underserved. The COVID-19 crisis is no exception. It is important that the Mutual Aid Fund is governed by people with lived experience because we have a unique perspective on the needs of our community.”
-Edrika Fulford, grassroots leader and Mutual Aid Committee member
“Right now, families are struggling–some are in shelters. Receiving the fund could give them hope for the future and help them get housed.”
-Elizabeth Maldonado, grassroots leader and Mutual Aid Committee member
EDITOR’S NOTE: Originally published on January 26, this article was updated on February 8 to include information about application period closure.