Remembering grassroots leader Edrika Fulford

It is with great sadness that we share the news of the passing of CCH grassroots leader Edrika Fulford. Edrika was an extraordinary advocate for ending homelessness as well as a cherished friend and community member.

CCH extends our love and condolences to Edrika’s family, friends, and the many people who love her.

During her time at CCH, Edrika was an active member of our Speakers Bureau, a core leader with the Bring Chicago Home campaign, and a founding member of the Mutual Aid Governance Committee. She was active with the Horizons creative writing program, both as a participant and emcee of last year’s virtual event. She was proud to have joined CCH staff as an Outreach Assistant in the Organizing Department in the weeks before her passing.

Edrika brought immense passion and resolve to all that she did as a leader and advocate, whether speaking at rallies, testifying at press conferences, officiating events, or providing interviews with the media. She will be deeply missed and forever part of CCH’s mission and legacy.

Edrika Fulford
A poem by Grassroots Leader and Board Member Maxica Williams

Fearless Legacy
Faithful and divine servant of the Lord.
She worships the Lord continuously
Sending inspirational messages daily
Living life to the fullest
Helping her sister and brothers that are homeless
Leading the pack, Advocating, Lobbying, and as a matter of fact as they come
Holding you accountable
Bringing out the fighter in all she meets
As she inspires you to dig deep and get on board

Always there for others
As others still in need, reach out and ask her to lend them her helping hand
She guides them to CCH, gives them a warm bed, and welcomes them with open arms
Pondering on the time she was without a home and how she was Blessed to make it through

Always guiding others to her second family and friends
CCH has been her new family and friends for over 5 years
CCH is where she reinvented herself through sharing her story, making change in Chicago, and making sure she did it in high fashion
The life of the party as she emcees
Standing like a true diva in her Sunday’s best
Hair laid every time
Dangling eye catching earrings and plenty of jewelry to match
Ready to call you out on contact
Queen Bee without a doubt
A cut above the rest
Sassy, classy, fly, and yet so divine
Just because I’m poor don’t mean, “I can’t show up and show out”
Looking my best is a reflection on me feeling my best”

A true passion and love of food
Don’t bring me no garbage because you know I’m gone tell you,
“stay out the kitchen and keep ya day job”
Sitting eating, enjoying conversation, and enjoying delicious food is like food for my soul
Food brings about so much happiness, food calms the chaos in families, and gives a neutral ground
People don’t even understand that’s really why I love food
The company , the smells, and great taste is the best thing you can have

Always able to reach her via phone call any time of the day
Always there when you need a friendly ear or just to talk, debrief the debrief, and strategize with
No matter the time she always makes the time for you
Giving advice be it straightforward but filled with love
Motivating you, encouraging you, and listening without bias
Talking her talk, laughing even if you don’t think it’s funny
Asking you lots of questions at the end of her advice
Both of you laugh in the end because you know she’s right

Blessed with two adult children they have made her proud each and every day
As she always reminisced on being a mother and now being “Toots”
Never regretting her true calling in life
Just in awe of the sacrifices, time, and commitment she gave to her kids
Now she’s somebodies ”Toots”
Man it feels good to be loved and have your own family
Every day I think of you my children and I’m grateful you gave me my flowers while I’m here on Earth
So, I leave no regrets
I’m not suffering, I’m free, I’m with the Lord,
And I’m watching over you all as your guardian Angel

“She was always kind. Always had time to talk to people even if she had her own problems. She was always there to listen and brighten your day up. She’s going to be missed. Edrika will always have a place in our hearts and her legacy and testimony will keep on.”
Elizabeth Maldonado, Grassroots Leader