WTTW: With Ballot Decision Looming, Chicago Homeless Advocates Push for Support and Funding

Mayor Brandon Johnson and other BCH supporters celebrate together inside Chicago City Hall.

By Andrea Guthmann, February 19, 2024 

The Chicago Coalition for the Homeless estimates more than 68,000 people in Chicago are experiencing homelessness. That higher number includes people who are doubled up, or temporarily living in someone else’s home, something the federal data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development does not include. Chicago voters are gearing up for a momentous decision on how to address homeless. On March 19, a question will be on the ballot asking whether to increase taxes on sales of high-end homes and commercial properties to help fund homelessness prevention.

“Not only are the homeless disproportionately people of color, but there are 20,000 CPS students impacted by homelessness,” says Carol Sharp, president and CEO of The Night Ministry. “Using that real estate transfer tax as an option to ensure that those who are purchasing homes over a million dollars are able to contribute to building a budget around solving homelessness is vitally important.”

CCH is a proud coalition supporter of Bring Chicago Home.

WGN: More on the Bring Chicago Home referendum

On March 15, Chicago voters will have their say on a referendum that would raise the one-time transfer tax on properties over $1 million to fund homelessness prevention in the city. It’s called the Bring Chicago Home referendum. Doug Schenkelberg, the executive director of the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, and Tynetta Hill-Muhammad, an organizer for the bring Chicago Home Ordinance, joined the WGN Evening News to talk more about it.

Sun-Times: Get facts straight on Bring Chicago Home real estate transfer tax referendum

By Joshua Wilmoth,  Feb 7, 2024

As a resident of Chicago, and as the president & CEO of Full Circle Communities, a Chicago-based nonprofit dedicated to increasing access to housing through affordability and resident services, I am invested in economic development across Chicago. I strongly support the Bring Chicago Home initiative, which aims to address our city’s homelessness and housing affordability crisis by making the real estate transfer tax or RETT — the sales tax paid by property buyers — more progressive.

CCH honors community members who made our 2023 victories possible

  • CCH grassroots leaders and their families pose with Mayor Brandon Johnson.
  • Carla Johnson, a CCH Board Member and grassroots leader, hugs Ald. Hadden while presenting her award.
  • A group of 9 multi-racial adults stand beside Julie Campos, a Latina woman holding her young son,
  • A group of 13 multi-racial, multi-generational people stand side by side behind a podium. Most are holding certificates.
  • Leaders Myron Byrd, Bianca Hardy, and Carla Johnson with Mayor Johnson.
  • A large group of people sit in folding chairs watching a presentation off camera.

More than 100 community leaders, elected officials, and coalition members gathered at Grace Episcopal Church on January 22 to celebrate CCH’s accomplishments over the past year. 

The evening began with opening remarks from Maxica Williams, President of CCH’s Board of Directors and a longtime grassroots leader with the coalition.

“Through advocating, lobbying, and working hard, the accomplishments for 2023 were plentiful, unique, trendsetting, and successful moves in the right direction to eliminating some of the outdated laws and policies that were direct barriers that have led to homelessness,” shared Maxica.

Continue reading CCH honors community members who made our 2023 victories possible

WTTW: Volunteers, Faith Leaders Working to Help Unhoused Chicagoans Amid Freezing Temperatures

By Emily Soto (WTTW), January 17, 2024

Most of us can avoid Chicago’s frigid temperatures just by staying home. But for those experiencing homelessness, the solution is not that simple. Local organizations work directly with those individuals, hoping to provide relief and find long-term solutions.

Many groups like Thresholds are looking to the Bring Chicago Home ballot measure — which would change the real estate transfer tax in order to raise revenue to house the homeless — as the way forward.

CCH is a proud coalition member of Bring Chicago Home.

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Block Club: Bring Chicago Home Advocates Say ‘Frivolous’ Lawsuit Won’t Block Ballot Question

Bring Chicago Home supporters rally with banners and signs inside of City Hall.

By Alex V. Hernandez, Block Club Chicago

A lawsuit trying to block the city from raising certain real estate taxes to support homelessness services is a last-ditch attempt by wealthy landlords and real estate agents to protect their profits, advocates of the measure said this week.

Doug Schenkelberg, Chicago Coalition for the Homeless’ executive director, said the lawsuit is “a desperate attempt to deprive Chicago voters of their right to have their voices be heard.”

“This lawsuit is a political maneuver, orchestrated to protect the interests of greedy landlords and multi-national real estate corporations at the expense of Black, Brown, working class and homeless Chicagoans,” Schenkelberg said.

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The Daily Line: Housing Industry, policy groups react to appointment of new city housing commissioner

A woman in her mid-30s smiles in red lipstick, wearing a black top.

By Michael McDevitt (The Daily Line)

Doug Schenkelberg, executive director of the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, said Castañeda’s appointment is likely to aid in the success of the Bring Chicago Home proposal, which would raise the real estate transfer tax on the sale of properties above $1 million and decrease the tax on property sales that are under $1 million. Bring Chicago Home will appear as a question on the March primary election ballot, and the revenue raised from the increased tax if it’s approved would be used by the city to fight homelessness. 

Schenkelberg told The Daily Line in a statement that the organization, which is one member of the Bring Chicago Home coalition, was “ecstatic” about the appointment and appreciated her work with “pillar community organizations.” 

“[Castañeda] understands what it takes [to] create the types of affordable housing our communities need and knows we need to center the voices of those most impacted,” Schenkelberg said. “As we look towards winning the ballot in March and passing the Bring Chicago Home ordinance soon after, her leadership and commitment to creating permanent housing and solving homelessness will aid in Bring Chicago Home’s long-term success.”

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Latino News: ‘Doubling Up’ Homelessness: An Invisible Crisis

A cartoon girl sits in front of a brick wall with a suitcase and briefcase near her.

By Jacqueline Cardenas (Latino News), December 15 2023

Over 68,000 Chicagoans are experiencing homelessness, and nearly 45,000 of them live doubled-up, according to a 2023 estimated data report from the Chicago Coalition For The Homeless. Out of nearly 20,000 Latinx people experiencing homelessness, 91% are in doubled-up situations, according to the report.

Research suggests that members of the Latinx community who lived doubled-up have been undercounted in homelessness data because multigenerational living is a common practice.

The Latino Policy Forum and Illinois Latino News (ILLN) are partnering to create a 2-year long public awareness campaign that will illuminate the most common form of homelessness experienced in the Latinx community, which is through ‘doubling-up’ or when a person temporarily lives with others.

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Pat speaks up to help others

Black grandmother and her three grandkids -- ages 11, 12, and 16 -- pose smiling with their arms around each other. They are sitting on a bench and wearing winter jackets. Banner text reads: Pat speaks up to help others

Born to a large family with nine siblings, Patricia “Pat” Franklin understands the importance of working together so that everyone has what they need to thrive. A grandmother of three and self-described jokester, Pat aspires to make the world better for families like hers.

“Growing up, I never knew we were poor,” recalls Pat. “Sleeping three to a bed – I just thought that’s the way it was. My mother was always helping and taking people in. She taught me that there’s always someone else out there who is worse off than you.”

Today, Pat channels her mother’s generous spirit by serving as grassroots leader with CCH, leading advocacy efforts to support people experiencing homelessness.

“CCH is like my second family,” Pat said. “I just love being here and advocating. By sharing my story, I hope it helps the next family and prevents them from going through what I did.”

Continue reading Pat speaks up to help others