Service providers meet with CCH organizers to discuss work into 2019

Providers’ Lunch at St. Leonard’s Ministries, in a discussion led by Organizer Bisma Shoukat (Photos by Claudia Cabrera)

Staff representing 14 homeless service providers participated in the CCH community organizing staff’s fall provider’s lunch, where they discussed initiatives underway locally and in Springfield.

Hosted by St. Leonard’s Ministries, the lunch is one of three held through the year to involve providers in advocacy led by CCH and its homeless leaders, some of whom receive services from these providers.

At the Sept. 20 lunch, providers heard from Maxica Williams, a formerly homeless mother active at CCH since meeting organizer Keith Freeman during his outreach at Madonna House. This included Maxica’s legislative testimony that helped win the first increase in a decade to Illinois families assisted by Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF).

Maxica Williams

“Seeing the growth in these leaders encourages providers to stay involved,” Keith explained.

Providers learned about local CCH initiatives that seek increased financial support of key programs, including homeless prevention grants for households, said Associate Organizing Director Jim Picchetti. They also discussed the calendar cycle for setting the state budget and ways that providers can help in 2019, such as in-district meetings with legislators.

Associate Organizing Director Jim Picchetti

Chicago-based service providers participating were Breakthrough Ministries, Catholic Charities’ Madonna House, Christian Community Health Center, Cornerstone Community Outreach, Franciscan Outreach, Matthew House, North Side Housing & Supportive Services, Olive Branch Mission, Salvation Army/Booth Lodge, Single Room Housing Assistance Corp. (SRHAC), and St. Leonard’s Ministries.

Suburban providers attending were Hesed House of Aurora, Housing Forward of Maywood/Oak Park, and Love Fellowship Baptist Church of Romeoville.

– Anne Bowhay, Media