Through “Book a Bed,” La Casa Norte makes available four beds at its Back of the Yards shelter, 1736 W. 47th Street. Launched Feb. 6, the pilot allows youth who work evening hours or attend night classes to use StreetLight Chicago to reserve a bed when the 30-bed shelter opens at 9 p.m., said Casa Corazon Program Coordinator Shanavia Stevens. Continue reading Using the StreetLight Chicago phone app, La Casa Norte pilots “Book A Bed” at its South Side youth shelter
Many thanks for your generous support on Giving Tuesday, a global day of charitable giving held Nov. 29. We sought to raise $8,000, and by day’s end, 89 donors generously gave $8,755, surpassing our goal by 9%. We are so grateful!
We’re also thankful for our youngest donor, Peninah. Accompanied by her mother, Anika, the 5-year-old donated $215.58 to the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless (CCH), most of it earned running a hot cider stand Sunday in her South Side neighborhood.
Peninah was profiled Tuesday by Leah Hope on ABC 7 Chicago, a sweet story about the “Young Girl with a Big Heart.” Continue reading Giving Tuesday: Thank you for your generous support
On June 23, CCH awarded $2,500 renewable college scholarships to five new high school graduates who succeeded in school while coping with homelessness. We also presented $2,500 renewal awards to 15 upperclassmen. Thanks to the donors and foundations that fund these scholarships, 50 students received $235,000 through last school year.
Filmed by Russ Constable
Edited by Claire Sloss
Gloria Davis talks to Crystal Sahler about relationships, how they are always changing, and how relationships can last a lifetime.
Thank you to StorpCorps for the photo and recording.
If you would like to invite Gloria Davis, Crystal Sahler or any of other members of the CCH Speakers Bureau to present at your organization, school, or civic group, please contact email@example.com or fill out the on-line request form.
Editor’s Note: Jayme Robinson and Ashley Allen are long-time members of the CCH Education Committee. A new college graduate, Jayme joined the CCH staff in June as a VISTA organizer.
Listen to the story audio HERE.
By Bill Healy
Jayme Robinson is 21 and a college graduate. That’s no small feat, considering that she became homeless her senior year of high school.
Earlier this year, Chicago Public Schools updated its policies so that homeless students are now entitled to enrollment without proof-of-residence or guardianship. It also gives these students access to tutoring services, uniforms, and fees waivers, among other things.
Robinson came to the StoryCorps booth at the Chicago Cultural Center with her mentor, Ashley Allen, who used to be homeless as well. They spoke about their experiences growing up, and how that translates into the work they do today, advocating on behalf of the 20,000 homeless students in Chicago Public Schools.
StoryCorps’ mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to share, record and preserve their stories. These excerpts, edited by WBEZ, present some of our favorites from the current visit, as well as from previous trips.
By Hannah Willage, Associate Director of Organizing
Kudos to the Education Committee at the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless — the leaders’ group advocated for 18 months for a strong, updated policy on homeless education within the Chicago Public Schools.
We are pleased to report that the Chicago Board of Education adopted the new policy on April 20, replacing CPS’s outdated 20-year-old policy. CPS publicly credited CCH for its work, its chief education officer commending our “tireless work… (to) help develop a policy that is thoughtful, comprehensive and effective.” Continue reading Chicago Public Schools’ new homeless education policy shaped by Education Committee and Law Project
By Niya Kelly, Policy Specialist
As the budget crisis ravages social services across the state, the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless traveled to Springfield April 5 with more than 100 homeless youths, Niles Township high school students, and service providers.
The group protested both inside and outside the Executive Mansion to bring attention to their message: “Governor Rauner needs to support legislation that would immediately release funding to ensure homeless youth have a place to lay their heads at night.”
Homeless youth met with the governor himself in February. They recounted the circumstances that lead to their homelessness, how they connected with their service providers, and where they would be without this assistance. The governor listened, promising that he would consider supporting HB4955/SB2603, legislation that would immediately appropriate funding for homeless services in Illinois. Continue reading Youth and service providers protest inside the Executive Mansion
During public schools’ Report Card Pick-Up Day, the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless released a report card of its own – assessing how the city of Chicago fails to meets the needs of its homeless students and families.
Working with parent leaders and housing providers, HomeWorks will advocate for improved school services and more family-sized housing, including 500 housing units for families through the Chicago Low-Income Housing Trust Fund. Continue reading HomeWorks: Report card shows Chicago fails to meet the needs of homeless students, families
A September survey of 101 state-funded homeless service providers found that the state budget impasse has or will soon force 90% of these non-profit agencies to deny assistance to people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.
CCH will run another provider survey in November, a shared project with Housing Action Illinois, Corporation for Supportive Housing, and the Supportive Housing Providers Association.
Agencies reported that they have had to limit their intake of new clients; reduce or eliminate services for current clients; layoff staff and/or impose furlough days or reduce work hours; eliminate programs; and/or close sites.
Homeless service providers have not received any state funding since July 1 for emergency and transitional housing, homelessness prevention, homeless youth programs, and supportive housing services.
CCH is among more than 200 organizations statewide in the Responsible Budget Coalition, which advocates for a responsible state budget that raises adequate revenue. Continue reading Report: Survey finds the state budget impasse is causing homelessness in Illinois
By Jennifer Cushman, Policy Specialist
The Illinois General Assembly adjourned May 31 with a “spending plan” for FY16 but without the revenue needed to support that plan, leaving the state budget incomplete.
This plan includes funding reductions for housing and homeless services that are minimal compared to the disastrous cuts recommended in Gov. Bruce Rauner’s proposed budget. The plan rejects the governor’s budget proposal and points to the need to raise revenue to prevent permanent damage to infrastructure that supports kids, communities and working families. Continue reading State budget impasse – the urgent need for Illinois to raise revenue