WTTW: What Homelessness Among Latinos Looks Like Amid Growing Need for Housing

By Acacia Hernandez (WTTW), December 1, 2023

Research suggests that Latinos are dramatically underrepresented in data on street and shelter homelessness.

According to the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless’ recent report, which just became available in Spanish, an estimated 68,000 people are homeless in Chicago.

Meanwhile, 91% of Latino Chicagoans who are experiencing homelessness are expected to be in doubled-up situations.

“People experience homelessness in different ways. They could be at shelters on the street or doubled-up, which some people consider couch surfing,” said Arturo Hernandez, a senior attorney with the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless. “This is when someone is staying at someone’s house where they have no legal right to be at and they can be asked to leave at any time. So they don’t have their own house, their own apartment, they might be staying with a relative or a friend, but they don’t have the right to be there.”

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PBS: Why this widespread form of homelessness is often overlooked and unsupported

Latoya Woffard, a woman in a black dress, leans against a planter.

By Hannah Grabenstein (PBS) November 20, 2023

Imagine a person experiencing homelessness. You might picture someone sleeping in an overnight shelter or living in a tent encampment in an urban area. That image isn’t wrong, but that common perception overlooks a less visible, potentially larger group, advocates and researchers say. People experiencing “doubled-up” homelessness live in temporary situations in the homes of friends or family when they would otherwise choose not to. In fact, the vast majority of schoolchildren experiencing homelessness are in doubled-up arrangements.

People living doubled-up often move between houses frequently and could be asked to leave at any moment, said Julie Dworkin, who until recently served as director of policy at Chicago Coalition for the Homeless. That challenges the notion that people experiencing literal homelessness are more vulnerable than people living doubled-up, she said.

Experts at Chicago Coalition for the Homeless helped write a new ordinance that will expand Chicago’s definition of homelessness to include people living doubled-up, people being released from prison, and people leaving rehab or mental health facilities. Funding will come from a proposed real estate tax increase, which would change the city’s flat tax rate to a graduated one, with the sale of buildings over $1 million taxed higher.

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Tribune: Mayor Brandon Johnson’s tax increase for homeless services will head to voters

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

By Alice Yin and A.D. Quig (Tribune), November 7, 2023

Mayor Brandon Johnson’s plan to ask voters about raising the real estate transfer tax to combat homelessness cleared the City Council on Tuesday, as aldermen placed the referendum on the March 2024 ballot and advanced a key campaign promise of the progressive mayor.

In a 32-17 vote, aldermen approved the “Bring Chicago Home” measure to create a citywide referendum on implementing a tiered tax rate on all property sales, which advocates have said is a critical strategy to generate much-needed revenue for the city’s homeless population.

Chicago Coalition for the Homeless is a proud coalition member of Bring Chicago Home.

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Celebrating Julie Dworkin, A Champion for Homelessness Advocacy 

By Sam Paler-Ponce and Mary Tarullo

Twenty-seven years at the same organization is an incredible achievement and Julie Dworkin, Director of Policy at Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, is understandably ready to take on new challenges. She has announced her last day will be November 3.  

Julie is recognized locally and nationally as a committed and tireless advocate and policy expert. She stands out for her unwavering dedication and resilience. Her efforts have made a profound impact in addressing Chicago and Illinois homelessness and housing issues. 

Over the years, Julie played both a contributing and leadership role in a wide range of important policy and budgetary changes at both the city and state level. Below is just a sampling of efforts that Julie lent her presence and voice to. 

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LawNDale – Giving Tuesday

By Ashmar Mandou, November 23, 2022

On a sand textured background the words #GivingTuesday sit in blue and black, across the top of the image are dried flowers, nuts, and star anise.

Giving Tuesday is a global movement that inspires people to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity. This Tuesday, November 29, people all over the world are encouraged to donate their time, money, and/or voice to an organization that makes a difference in their community. Celebrate this holiday season with the gift of giving to a few wonderful Chicago organizations around the city. We compiled a few non-profits to help get your #GivingTuesday started.

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The Crusader – Advocates want to make sure children living in extreme poverty receive their child support payments

By  Crusader Staff, November 23, 2022

$100 bills are scattered in the background and in plastic toy letters atop them it reads "Child Support" at the top of the frame is a wooden gavel.

A new, animated video released last week by anti-poverty advocates starts with “You would think that child support goes toward supporting children, right? But families in Illinois who need the most help are getting just a fraction of child support payments.”

Continue reading The Crusader – Advocates want to make sure children living in extreme poverty receive their child support payments

WVON-TANF & Anti-Poverty Experts

November 22, 2022

You would think the child support goes toward supporting children, right? But families in Illinois who need the most help are getting just a fraction of child support payments. And really when you look at the numbers, they’re saying families who live in extreme poverty, who received 10% of which is temporary assistance for needy families, have child support collected from there non custodial parents only to have most of that money go to the state of Illinois. 

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Chicago Sun Times-West Loop homeless on edge as city threatens to discard donated tents

By Michael Loria, November 3, 2022

A man in a black jacket and hat stands beside a large orange square tent, behind him 2 more of the same type are in the distance, they all sit below a bridge.

Willie Parker woke up braced for action Thursday morning.

The 66-year-old lives in a tent in the West Loop. The week before, he found a sticker attached to it that seemed to indicate that if it wasn’t cleared that morning, it would be removed by the city.

“We’re waiting for the city to come with a wrecking crew and come and confiscate the tents,” Parker said.


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Chicago Sun Times-Humboldt Park family’s home transformed: ‘I feel happy’

By Michael Loria, October 7, 2022

Three kids stand in a bedroom beside a brown dresser and a blue bed with a basketball on it. A mother stands in the doorway, her hand to her face bearing a huge smile.

Chicago nonprofit Humble Design fully furnished and customized the four-bedroom house within hours. 

The house Lana Purnell and her three children left Friday morning wasn’t the same when they retuned in the early afternoon.

Continue reading Chicago Sun Times-Humboldt Park family’s home transformed: ‘I feel happy’

WTTW – New Report Offers Look into Homelessness in Chicago

October 5, 2022

A recent report by the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless found that at least 65,000 people were experiencing homelessness in the city in 2020, which includes those who temporarily stayed with others in addition to people living in shelters and on the street.

Continue reading WTTW – New Report Offers Look into Homelessness in Chicago