To help people who are experiencing homelessness, CCH community organizers offer outreach at shelters, housing programs, and on the street.
Each month, organizers offer outreach at 30 facilities serving families, youth, and adults across Chicago, including programs serving adults in reentry and Spanish-speaking families, youth, and adults. Organizers also outreach to people living on the street in unsheltered communities. Nick Jefferson, Alyssa Rodriguez, and Claudia Cabrera organize in communities across Chicago.
After a year of mostly remote activities due the pandemic, select in-person outreach resumed in the summer of 2021 as vaccines became widely available. CCH anticipates continuing a hybrid model of virtual and traditional outreach going forward, informed by the preferences of providers and current public health guidance.
Associate Director of Organizing Jim Picchetti and Northern Illinois Organizer Alex Shapiro mobilize the State Network, organizing congregations, service providers, and Continuums of Care in 14 suburban and downstate communities — Aurora, Belvidere, Bolingbrook, Evanston, Joliet, Maywood/Oak Park, Naperville, Rockford, Romeoville, Springfield, Waukegan, Wheaton, and Zion.
A Speakers Bureau of 15 grassroots leaders talks to school, civic, and religious groups about their experiences with homelessness. They reach an audience of about 3,000 people a year. Led by Organizer Claudia Cabrera, the bureau also mobilizes high school and college students to advocate with city and state officials.
In other outreach, the Law Project runs Youth Futures, a mobile legal aid clinic that visits high schools and neighborhood programs serving unaccompanied youth in Chicago. Outreach sites include programs run by Broadway Youth Center, Center on Halsted, Covenant House, La Casa Norte, the Lyte Collective, The Night Ministry, StandUp for Kids, Ignite, and Unity Parenting. Legal staff also provide legal clinics at Chicago Public high schools and alternative schools with high homeless populations.
During outreach sessions, CCH staff offer practical information. This includes telling parents about a homeless child’s right to free transportation to school, or informing low-income older youth and adults of eligibility to apply for health care through Medicaid.
Through outreach, CCH involves youth, parents, and single adults in advocacy campaigns that create access and economic opportunities for people living in extreme poverty.
For more information, contact Director of Organizing Wayne Richard at (312) 641-4140.