StreetLight Chicago: Book-a-Bed adds access to more youth shelter beds

More beds have been added to Book-a-Bed! The shelter-access feature is offered on StreetLight Chicago, a free mobile app of resources for homeless youth.

Youth can reserve one of 18 beds at four overnight youth shelters. In August, La Casa Norte began offering two beds at its Logan Square shelter and five beds at its Back of the Yards shelter.

Eight beds remain available at The Crib on Chicago’s North Side and three beds at Ujima Village on the city’s South Side.

Youth or service providers assisting them can reserve a bed between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. daily. This can be done using either the phone app or a desktop version of StreetLight Chicago. Youth must arrive by 11 p.m. to use a bed for the night.

“Book-a-Bed helps youth who, because of work or classes, cannot attend at-the-door lotteries when shelters open for the evening,” said Beth Malik, associate legal director at CCH and lead attorney for its Youth Futures legal aid clinic.

StreetLight Chicago is a joint project of Youth Futures and the Young Invincibles, backed by generous multi-year support from the VNA Foundation.

Launched in November 2016, more than 3,200 people have downloaded the StreetLight app to date.

StreetLight Chicago offers a database of resources for homeless and unaccompanied youth, ages 16 through 24. The app provides youth with a centralized list of youth drop-in centers, shelters, health clinics, food pantries and services, including Youth Futures’ legal aid. Occasional push notifications are issued when bad weather or program-change alerts are needed.

A desktop version – at – has been available since August 2017. It mirrors the app’s resource information, with printable lists and improved navigation for users seeking directions. The website expands access to StreetLight resources for youth without cellphones and makes it easier for service providers to work with youth clients.

Service providers are invited to send any listing or push notification updates to

– Anne Bowhay, Media