Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, like most organizations and people throughout the world, is taking the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic seriously. Because we want to ensure the health of staff and everyone we come in contact with, as well as do our part to help curb the spread of the coronavirus, we are taking the following steps:
- CCH’s offices are closed while the state of Illinois is under shelter-in-place orders. CCH staff is continuing to work and can be reached by email and phone.
- During this time, CCH is suspending all in-person outreach, including the Youth Futures mobile legal clinic. Our staff continues to meet with clients and grassroots leaders by phone and to hold regular leadership meetings by conference call and Zoom.
- Prior to reopening our office and restarting outreach, we will evaluate whether this period needs to be extended based on provided guidance.
- CCH can be reached by phone on its general office line, (312) 641-4140. For people with legal needs, the Law Project can be reached at 1 (800) 940-1119.
- Resources and notifications for homeless youth can be found on StreetLight Chicago, a free mobile app and website co-managed by CCH.
Chicago Coalition for the Homeless is concerned about the impact of the pandemic on those experiencing homelessness. We are advocating for concrete steps to be taken to ensure they are able to both protect themselves from possible infection and get appropriate treatment if an infection occurs. Chicago and Illinois homeless service providers and outreach workers need adequate guidance and resources in order to do their work during this time. Moreover, policies need to be put in place that halt evictions and provide extra support to those that are precariously housed so homelessness does not increase as a result of this situation.
We will continue to both work with and push the city, county, and state to provide guidance to shelter providers and outreach workers, quickly adopt smart policies, and put in place additional resources to curb the spread of the virus and protect those most in need of protection.