The Return of the Justice Circle

  • CCH Law Project staff members pose for camera
  • CCH Executive Director Doug Schenkelberg & Homeless Youth Advocate, Jajuana Walker
By Michael Nameche, Director of Development

On May 9, supporters and allies of CCH’s Law Project gathered for the Justice Circle reception at the law offices of Baker McKenzie. The event celebrated the 20th anniversary of Youth Futures, CCH’s mobile legal aid clinic for young people experiencing homelessness.  

This was the first time that the Justice Circle has held an in-person event since 2019, and CCH is very grateful for all the returning support. Contributions from law firms, banks, and individuals raised over $60,000 to support the Law Project’s work. A list of our sponsors can be found here.  

At the event, some special recognition awards were presented. CCH recognized Baker McKenzie’s commitment to helping youth experiencing homelessness nationwide. The firm’s ongoing commitment to authoring Homeless Youth Handbooks has produced a critical resource in 13 states already, with more on the way. Baker McKenzie also partners with the National Network for Youth through their Justice in Action Pro Bono Initiative, which removes barriers that youth experiencing homelessness face when accessing identification documents. Firm partner Michael Lehrman accepted the award on Baker McKenzie’s behalf.  

CCH also recognized the ongoing efforts of Jajuana Walker, a former Law Project client and homeless youth advocate. Jajuana took her own personal struggles with housing insecurity, first experiencing homelessness at the age 18, and channeled her courage and wisdom into advocating to end housing discrimination and youth homelessness in Chicago. Jajuana fought against multiple barriers to housing access by serving as a plaintiff in successful housing discrimination and fair credit cases with CCH. 

Associate Director of the Law Project, Beth Malik, had this to say when presenting the award to Jajuana: “I had the privilege of working with Jajuana on both her housing and fair credit cases. The litigation was long, complicated, and mentally and emotionally taxing. During the process, despite many ups and downs over the course of 3 years, she never wanted to give up. She wanted to keep going not for herself, but to make sure that other homeless young people have better access to stable and long-term housing.” 

CCH is especially grateful to our event host, Baker McKenzie, for providing their fabulous space and handling all the event details so CCH could spend the evening focusing on the community of support that showed up. 

Remembering Dem Hopkins – Punk Rock’s Passionate Advocate for Fighting Homelessness

By Michael Nameche, Director of Development 

CCH is sad to announce that long-time supporter, advocate, and former Board Member Dem Hopkins passed away this week. Dem will be remembered for the passion and creativity that he brought to fight against homelessness.  

Continue reading Remembering Dem Hopkins – Punk Rock’s Passionate Advocate for Fighting Homelessness

The Salt Shed Seasons its Concert Series with Support for CCH

This past August, Chicago was introduced to its newest live music/entertainment venue, The Salt Shed.  A grand repurposing of the historic 4-acre Morton Salt complex located on the Chicago River, The Salt Shed launched with an inaugural series of 12 outdoor concerts featuring acts like Fleet Foxes, Andrew Bird, and Death Cab For Cutie.   

Continue reading The Salt Shed Seasons its Concert Series with Support for CCH

The CCH Associate Board’s appetite for justice raises $13,500 to combat homelessness

This past August, Woodie’s Flat in Chicago’s Old Town neighborhood hosted 11 contestants with an appetite for social justice and who were ready to put money where their mouth was.   

The Associate Board of the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless staged its 2nd Annual Wing Eating Contest and the resulting donations gathered by the contestants totaled $13,500 to support CCH’s mission.  

Continue reading The CCH Associate Board’s appetite for justice raises $13,500 to combat homelessness

Match Opportunity: Support Chicagoans impacted by homelessness by donating to the CCH Mutual Aid Fund today! 

CCH’s Mutual Aid Fund (MAF) is an innovative, low-barrier direct cash-assistance program for Illinois individuals and families experiencing or at risk of homelessness. Created in May 2020 in response to the pandemic, the fund was designed by and continues to be managed by grassroots leaders with lived experience of homelessness.  

To date, the Mutual Aid Fund has distributed 710 grants of $500, totaling $355,000 in direct assistance!  

MAF recipients have used the funds for critical, urgent needs, including security deposits, hotel/motel stays, monthly bus passes for work, and doctor’s appointments and medicines. 

Join us in helping even more individuals and families impacted by homelessness: Through October 31, donations up to $50,000 will be matched by long-time community partners Marta Delgado & Sam Nandi. 

CCH aims to raise at least $100,000 for the Mutual Aid Fund this year, enough to provide 200 cash grants to community members impacted by homelessness. 

Please consider supporting the Mutual Aid Fund today! 

Your support makes a difference: CCH’s Mutual Aid Fund in action 

“I did the application because I’m living in a difficult situation – I am diabetic and need a balanced diet. Sometimes I go to sleep without a dollar in my pocket, not knowing how I will pay for rent. I used the funds to buy food and pay a portion of my rent.”

Vicente H.

“Being homeless during the pandemic felt impossible, but the fund helped me with food, hygiene products and most importantly art supplies…which helped me to earn more income and to feel more secure in the post-pandemic world, that had seemed to forget the homeless. CCH didn’t forget though…the fund was there to help.”

Trevor R. 

“When I found out I was chosen to receive the Mutual Aid Funds, I was so happy and appreciative. I had recently moved into a new apartment and abruptly lost my income temporarily. I was able to open a checking account and had a little cushion to pay my bills. Resources such as this should always be available for hard-working people who do not qualify for government assistance.”

Juanita R.

CCH awards college scholarships to six first-year students, celebrates seven recent graduates

Six Chicago area high school graduates have won a CCH college scholarship to support them in their higher education journeys. They were celebrated at a luncheon with CCH staff, selection committee members, and limited guests on July 28. 

CCH’s annual award of $3,500 is renewable for up to five years as students work to complete a bachelor’s or associate degree. All first-year winners also received new laptops, made possible with a grant from long-time partner, The Osa Foundation.

Twenty undergraduate students will be supported by the CCH college scholarship program during the 2022 – 2023 school year, including six first-years, six sophomores, three juniors, and five seniors. They are attending colleges and universities in California, Illinois, Georgia, Missouri, and Wisconsin, and historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in Georgia and Washington, D.C.

Continue reading CCH awards college scholarships to six first-year students, celebrates seven recent graduates

Almost $62,000 raised, thanks to your support this Giving Tuesday

Thanks to your generous support on Giving Tuesday, Chicago Coalition for the Homeless has raised almost $62,000.  And our loyal donors that supplied $100,000 in matching funds have extended the time period to draw them down because they know life can get busy. So there is still time to help CCH reach this ambitious goal!

I know we can get there; we just need to donate, share, and share again. Donate here, and don’t forget to share to get the word out.

Continue reading Almost $62,000 raised, thanks to your support this Giving Tuesday