CCH hosted another successful Legislative Breakfast at the state capitol Wednesday: 13 state representatives, a state senator and a state agency official participated, talking with staff and clients from homeless service program in metropolitan Chicago.
We talked with legislators from both parties about vital homeless service line-items in the pending FY15 state budget, including grants for school programs to homeless students, homeless prevention grants to households, programs serving homeless and unaccompanied youth, and emergency and transitional housing.
Joining CCH at the breakfast were La Casa Norte’s Solid Ground housing program for homeless youth in Chicago, Hesed House shelter in Aurora, and Catholic Charities of Lake County.
Legislators spent quite a bit of time talking with clients served by these programs. It was clear their personal stories impacted their understanding of homelessness and the difference these programs make in their lives. Male youth from La Casa Norte, in particular, impressed legislators with how poised, mature, and articulate they were in talking about their experiences with homelessness, as well as their hopes and dreams for their lives.
Kudos to the Legislators who attended the breakfast: from Chicago, State Rep. Monique Davis, State Rep. Ken Dunkin, State Rep. Marcus C. Evans, Jr., State Rep. Esther Golar, State Rep. Greg Harris, State Rep. Camille Lilly, State Rep. Cynthia Soto, and State Rep. Silvana Tabares; State Rep. Robyn Gabel of Evanston; State Rep. Elizabeth Hernandez of Cicero; State Rep. Mike Smiddy of downstate Hillsdale; State Rep. Patrick Verschoore of Rock Island; Rep. Lawrence Walsh, Jr. of Joliet; State Sen. Jim Oberweiss of North Aurora; and Daniel G. Harris, Associate Director of Family and Community Services for the Illinois Department of Human Services
– Associate Policy Director Eithne McMenamin