Preschool Enrollment Support

Early childhood education is a crucial component to a child’s development and future academic success. Studies show that children who attend preschool are more likely to graduate from high school, attend college, and stay out of the criminal legal system.

Chicago families with preschool-age children can enroll in preschool starting April 11 for the 2023-24 school year.

If your child is four years old on or before September 1, 2023, they are eligible for CPS full-day and half-day programs. If your child is three years old on or before September 1, 2023, they are eligible for CPS half-day programs and Community Based Programs.

Families can apply online and get information about early learning on the CPS website or by phone, at (312) 229-1690.

CPS gives priority placement in preschool for children in families experiencing homelessness.

Still, it is important to apply as early as possible to avoid being placed on a waitlist.

Children experiencing homelessness can be enrolled in preschool without proof of address, income, guardianship or other documents normally needed for enrollment. This includes children living in shelters, those sharing the housing of others due to loss of housing or economic hardship (“doubled-up”), or those living in other temporary living situations.

Families experiencing homelessness should indicate their living situation on the application and notify the person assisting them with preschool enrollment.

If you submit the application during the Initial Application Period (April 11– May 2) you’ll receive your child’s placement by May 19th. If the application is submitted after May 2, the child’s placement will be sent on a rolling basis. You can log into the portal or call the hotline to find out your child’s placement.

After submitting the application and receiving your child’s placement, you must verify your child’s spot at your assigned preschool program within two weeks or at a Family Resource Center. If you are in a temporary living situation, you can receive transportation to verify your child’s spot.

You can apply to more than one preschool program.

You can accept a spot at a preschool program and remain on the waitlist at another preschool program.

If your child is attending a Chicago Public Schools preschool program, your child has a right to transportation services. If your child is attending a community-based preschool program, you should check with the individual program to determine what supports are available for students in temporary living situations.

The Law Project of the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless is available to answer questions and help families by phone with completing the application for preschool enrollment.

Call Education Attorney Alyssa Phillips at 872-588-6800 if you need assistance with preschool enrollment.

SNAP Emergency Allotments Ending

En Español

The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) has announced that Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits will return to pre-pandemic levels beginning in March 2023. Illinois will sustain emergency SNAP benefits through February, but the federal increases will end on March 1, 2023. 

With the end of emergency benefits, SNAP participants will see benefits reduced. The reduction in SNAP benefits is a result of a federal policy change, not because of changes in individual SNAP cases. 

Since April 2020, all Illinois SNAP households received both the regular monthly benefit and an emergency SNAP allotment. Beginning on March 1, 2023, each SNAP household will only receive benefits based on factors like household size, income, and deductions. This means that the decrease in the benefit amounts will depend on each household’s size and financial circumstances. 

All SNAP recipient households will receive a client notice listing the amount of benefits they will receive. 

IDHS has also put together a resource page to help SNAP households with the transition. Customers will receive their regular normal SNAP benefits through their Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card beginning in March 2023 on their regularly scheduled issuance date. 

To prepare for this change, IDHS recommends SNAP customers visit and update their account if there is a change in address, increase in housing costs, or decrease in income. This will ensure that SNAP households are receiving their maximum benefits. 

If you have any questions regarding public benefits such as SNAP, TANF, or Medicaid, please contact Venus Rivera, Public Benefits Specialist at the CCH Law Project, by email at or call (312) 720-1800. 

Find a Food Pantry

Sobre el fin de las asignaciones de emergencia de SNAP (borrador)

Febrero de 2023

El Departamento de Servicios Humanos de Illinois (Illinois Department of Human Services, IDHS) ha anunciado que los beneficios del Programa Suplementario de Asistencia Nutricional (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, SNAP) volverán a los niveles anteriores a la pandemia a partir de marzo de 2023. Illinois mantendrá los beneficios de emergencia del SNAP hasta febrero, pero los aumentos federales finalizarán el 1 de marzo de 2023.

Con el fin de los beneficios de urgencia, los participantes del SNAP verán reducidos sus beneficios. La reducción de los beneficios del SNAP se debe a un cambio en la política federal, no a cambios en los casos individuales del SNAP.

Desde abril de 2020, todos los hogares SNAP de Illinois recibieron tanto el beneficio mensual regular como una asignación SNAP de emergencia. A partir del 1 de marzo de 2023, cada hogar SNAP sólo recibirá beneficios basados en factores como el tamaño del hogar, los ingresos y las deducciones. Esto significa que la reducción del monto de los beneficios dependerá del tamaño de cada hogar y de sus circunstancias económicas.

Todos los hogares beneficiarios del SNAP recibirán un aviso de cliente en el que se indicará el monto de los beneficios que recibirán.

El IDHS también ha creado una página de recursos para ayudar a los hogares SNAP con la transición. Los clientes recibirán sus beneficios normales de SNAP a través de su tarjeta de Transferencia Electrónica de Beneficios (Electronic Benefit Transfer, EBT) a partir de marzo de 2023 en su fecha de emisión regular programada.

Para prepararse para este cambio, el IDHS recomienda a los clientes de SNAP visitar y actualizar su cuenta si hay un cambio de dirección, aumento de los costos de vivienda o disminución de los ingresos. Esto garantizará que los hogares beneficiarios del SNAP reciban el beneficio máximo.

Si tiene alguna pregunta sobre beneficios públicos como SNAP, TANF o Medicaid, póngase en contacto con Venus Rivera, Especialista en Prestaciones Públicas del CCH Law Project, por correo electrónico en la dirección venus@chicagohomeless.orgo por teléfono al(312) 720-1800.

Para más información, visite

Encuentre una despensa de alimentos local en Illinois:

Encuentre una despensa de alimentos local en Chicago:

Chicago Pays Settlement to Latina Mother After Police Officer’s Obscene Verbal Tirade, False Arrest, and Detention


Contact:   Ed Yohnka, ACLU of Illinois, 847-687-1129

                Vanessa Alvarez, Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, 773-906-3403

CHICAGO – A Chicago woman settled her federal civil rights lawsuit with the City of Chicago after police physically assaulted, falsely arrested, and detained her in June 2020. Julie Campos, a Southside Latina resident, filed the lawsuit in May 2022 to hold Chicago police accountable for unlawfully arresting her while she was working. Ms. Campos obtained substantial, undisclosed monetary damages as part of the settlement. Shortly after the filing of Ms. Campos’ suit, the officer primarily responsible for violating her constitutional rights separated from the Chicago Police Department (CPD). This is an important victory for Ms. Campos, whose goal was to get this abusive officer taken off the streets. 

“I am glad this lawsuit is over and that it was so successful,” said Julie Campos. “The officer who abused me is no longer on the streets. He – and I hope others – know there are consequences for their actions.”

On Tuesday, June 2, 2020, Ms. Campos was working at a Family Dollar store located on East 79th Street, cleaning up property damage that had occurred in the wake of George Floyd’s murder. After Ms. Campos videoed CPD Officer Eric Taylor, who had just physically assaulted her, Officer Taylor and Officer Treacher Howard falsely arrested Ms. Campos on a trumped-up charge. Ms. Campos was then unlawfully detained for hours while being separated from her infant son.

“This was an out-of-control officer who had no business being on the street,” said Joshua Levin, staff attorney for the ACLU and one of Ms. Campos’ lawyers. “Officer Taylor had more complaints than 93% of all other CPD officers but had never been adequately disciplined or retrained. The quick and successful settlement in this case shows the City knows the officer’s actions were unjustifiable. While we are very pleased that Officer Taylor is no longer at CPD, the City must ensure that all officers are properly trained, and are disciplined and retrained when they do wrong.”

Arturo Hernandez, a senior attorney at CCH and another part of the legal team, said: “Ms. Campos could have stood silent about the misconduct she suffered at the hands of Chicago Police. Instead, she brought public attention to their unlawful conduct, and she demanded they be held accountable. This takes courage. Because of her actions, now there is one less police officer patrolling the streets of Chicago who is unfit to wear a badge.”

The officers’ body camera video shows Officers Taylor and Howard pulled into the store parking lot where Ms. Campos and other employees were busy cleaning up the property damage so that the business could reopen to serve the community.

While in the store parking lot, Officer Taylor instigated an obscene shouting match with one of Ms. Campos’ coworkers. Officer Taylor made vulgar sexual comments about the employee’s mother and oral sex, using racist epithets.

Unbeknownst to Ms. Campos, Officer Taylor sought to arrest the employee with whom he had instigated the argument. As Ms. Campos was carrying boxes through the store doorway to the dumpster, Officer Taylor charged inside, told her to “step back, step back,” and then grabbed her, forcibly shoved her, and struck her face. Neither officer checked to see if Ms. Campos was injured. 

As Officer Taylor stomped through the store, Ms. Campos began recording him on her phone and saying that he had punched her. Although Ms. Campos had a First Amendment right to record Officer Taylor and criticize his misconduct, Officer Taylor approached her, twisted her arms—forcing her to stop recording—and placed her under arrest for purportedly obstructing a police officer.

“There was no legal basis whatsoever to arrest Ms. Campos for ‘obstructing an officer’; this was a blatant violation of her constitutional rights,” the ACLU’s Levin explained.  Months later, the false charge against Ms. Campos was dropped. 

“This process was hard, from deciding to file the lawsuit to waiting through the end, but it has been important – because no officer should be able to act this way and stay on the streets,” said Ms. Campos.

The ACLU of Illinois (“ACLU”), the Law Project of the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless (“CCH”), and the law firm of Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP represented Ms. Campos in the case.

# # #

Read the May 26, 2022 Press Release

Read Arturo Hernandez’s Reflection

CCH Senior Attorney Reflects on Recent Civil Rights Victory for Ms. Julie Campos

“It will take action”… to repair relations between the police and the community.

Our client, a young single mother experiencing housing instability was at work providing for her family when her interactions with the Chicago police occurred. This incident took place during a period of civil unrest in our city following the murder of George Floyd. Relations between the police and the community, already tense, were now fractured. This was an opportunity for the police to restore relations with the community. They could have offered a hand, or at the very least, demonstrated gratitude for the employees working to restore a local business. What happened instead: our client was arrested unlawfully, detained, and was charged with resisting/obstructing a police officer.   

We (CCH, Porter Wright and ACLU of IL) obtained a substantial settlement for our client, and not long after this lawsuit was filed, the main officer involved in violating our client’s constitutional rights retired from the Chicago Police Department.

This officer had a history of numerous complaints filed against them during their career as a police officer.  

As a youth, I aspired to be an advocate for individuals who were more likely to experience adversity because of the inequities that exist in this society and our city. As a Latino man that was born and raised in Chicago, I have witnessed these inequities firsthand and have lived in communities disproportionally impacted by them. I want to be an advocate for change. I want to see us get to a place where the color of a person’s skin doesn’t impact their interactions with the police or the criminal justice system. Where it doesn’t determine the level of dignity and respect afforded to them. I want to live in city that doesn’t over-police the same communities it disinvests in.  

I believe relations with the police and the community are fractured but they can still be repaired. But it’s going to take action and not rhetoric to achieve this result. At CCH, we engage in work that moves us closer to a just society. This case is evidence of that, and I am humbled and honored to play a crucial role in this work.  

– Arturo Hernandez, Senior Attorney for the Law Project at Chicago Coalition for the Homeless.  

Related Media Coverage:

Video of Police Cam footage:

Press Release February 6, 2022

Press Release May 26, 2022



Sun Times









2023 – 1

2023 – 2

Where to Turn for Help When Temperatures Drop

Originally posted January 2022, last updated December 2022.

Chicagoans should call 3-1-1 if they need weather-related assistance in frigid winter weather, including access to homeless shelters or city warming centers.

Here is a list of warming centers in the city:

Englewood Community Service Center
1140 West 79th Street, Chicago, IL 60620

Garfield Community Service Center (only shelter open at night and on weekends)
10 South Kedzie Avenue, Chicago, IL 60612

Dr. Martin Luther King Community Service Center
4314 South Cottage Grove, Chicago, IL 60653

North Area Community Service Center
845 West Wilson Avenue, Chicago, IL 60640

South Chicago Community Service Center
8650 South Commercial Avenue, Chicago, IL 60617

Trina Davila Community Service Center
4312 West North Avenue, Chicago, IL 60639


In addition to functioning as a warming center, Garfield Community Service Center at 10 South Kedzie Avenue is open 24-hours day, seven days a week to connect families and residents to emergency shelter.

Chicago residents can also seek shelter at Chicago Public Library locations and select Park District buildings during business hours. Library locations and hours of operations available here. Park District information is available here.

Older adults are welcome at one of the city’s 21 Senior Centers. Location and hours are available here.

In the suburbs, people can contact police non-emergency numbers to ask about warming centers, many of which are housed in police station lobbies and libraries. To find a warming center statewide, see

People experiencing homelessness can seek legal aid by calling the CCH Law Project at 1 (800) 940-1119.


Mayra knows a little help can go a long way

Mayra Fajardo, a Latinx woman in her 20s, poses in front of the Chicago River, a big smile on her face. She is wearing a white blouse. Banner text reads: Mayra knows a little help can go a long way.

Mayra Fajardo recently graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). She earned a double major in psychology and criminology/law, with a double minor in history and Spanish. Having navigated high school and college as an unaccompanied student, Mayra is passionate about using her skills and experiences to help others.  

Born and raised in Chicago, Mayra moved with her family to Ecuador at 15. A year later, she made the difficult decision to return to Chicago alone to pursue better educational opportunities. Her goal? To provide hope and support for her mother and younger sister. 

Continue reading Mayra knows a little help can go a long way

Back to school without a place to call home

Last week marked the beginning of the 2022-2023 school year for Chicago Public Schools (CPS). Suburban school districts also started school in recent weeks. After the difficulties and barriers families and students faced over the last two years due to the pandemic, it is more important than ever for schools to identify and support students experiencing homelessness. 

Continue reading Back to school without a place to call home

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

Hotel Toledo: Eviction Avoided

In April of 2022, CCH learned that the owner of Hotel Toledo, a single room occupancy (SRO) hotel located at 6219 S. Ashland Avenue, in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood had set in motion a process to evict every tenant living in the hotel, giving the tenants until April 30th to vacate the building with all their possessions. The only notice that tenants received was the notice posted at the hotel.  

Notice posted to residents informing them that the Hotel Toledo was no longer open for residence.

Many of the tenants facing eviction had been faithfully paying their rent prior to this eviction process being implemented by the Owner. The hotel was a long-term residence for most of the tenants – many of them had lived at Hotel Toledo for years. In addition, many of the tenants experienced homelessness prior to living at the Hotel Toledo. 

The Law Project’s Case and Street Outreach Worker, Ali Simmons, it’s Director, Patricia Nix-Hodes, and Senior Attorney Arturo Hernandez, along with Nick Jefferson of CCH’s Organizing Department, immediately got involved. A meeting was held with approximately 13 of the tenants to determine exactly what was going on, and what the tenants wanted to do in response to the Owner’s actions to evict them.  

During this meeting, the tenants overwhelmingly expressed that they wanted to stay at the hotel (which is also an SRO). After the meeting, CCH delivered a letter to the owner advising that the planned eviction was unlawful and violated the Chicago Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance and the Chicago Single Room Occupancy Preservation Ordinance. 

CCH reached out to Lawyers Committee for Better Housing who agreed to represent one of the tenants in a court proceeding to have a temporary restraining order issued against the owner to stop the eviction.

Notice of Eviction delivered to each tenant in the building.

CCH also reached out to City officials who also advised the owner that the eviction was unlawful and pursued legal action against the owner. These combined efforts were successful in stopping the owner’s attempt to illegally evict the tenants. The hotel was placed under a receivership which allows the hotel to remain open and the individuals living there. The illegal eviction notices were taken down, replaced with new notices advising tenants that they could stay.

 CCH continues to work with and advocate for the tenants to ensure that they understand their rights going forward. In the continued conversation CCH learned that the tenants believed that Hotel Toledo, while not an ideal place to live, was stable enough until they could secure permanent housing. This is an example of how important affordable housing is, and Bring Chicago Home is the beginning of the answer! With more done to address homelessness, and the creation of more affordable housing, individuals will have viable options for housing that do not exist for them right now.   

Chicago Latina Files Lawsuit Challenging False Arrest By Chicago Police

CHICAGO – A Chicago police officer’s obscene verbal tirade escalated into the officer’s physical assault and false arrest of a Chicago woman in June 2020, according to a federal lawsuit filed today. Chicago police are accused of unlawfully arresting Julie Campos, a Southside Latina resident—who was 19 years old at the time—at her place of employment, a Family Dollar store located on East 79th Street. The ACLU of Illinois (“ACLU”), the Law Project of the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless (“CCH”), and the law firm of Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP are representing Ms. Campos in the lawsuit challenging false arrest. 
Ms. Campos was working at the store on Tuesday, June 2, 2020, cleaning up property damage that had occurred in the wake of George Floyd’s murder. The lawsuit asserts that, after Ms. Campos videoed the officer who physically assaulted her, Ms. Campos was falsely arrested on a trumped-up charge and unlawfully detained for hours—separated from her infant son. 

White text in all caps on a blue gradient background reads "Julie Campos v. City Of Chicago, Eric Taylor, and Treacher Howard" Center below text is the CCH Logo, a cartoon person crouched in a white house, to the right of logo reads " Law Project, Chicago Coalition for the Homeless". Lawsuit Challenges False Arrest.

“I was confused and scared throughout this entire experience,” said Ms. Campos. “It was shocking that just getting up and going to work could result in being arrested.” 

“The body cam and other video of this incident show a CPD officer completely out of control. The City never should have allowed this officer onto the street,” said Joshua Levin, staff attorney for the ACLU. The officer has a lengthy history of civilian complaints, but never had been adequately disciplined or retrained by the Chicago Police Department. 

Arturo Hernandez, a senior attorney at CCH, stated, “Ms. Campos, a young mother who was experiencing housing instability at the time, was at work trying to provide for her family when she endured this horrific experience at the hands of Chicago Police officers. This should not happen to anyone. If CPD doesn’t take action to adequately train their officers, or adequately discipline officers who engage in misconduct like the officers in this case—how will relations between the community and the police change?” 

The officers’ body camera video shows CPD Officers Eric Taylor and Treacher Howard pulled into the store parking lot where employees were busy cleaning up so that the business could reopen to serve the community. Ms. Campos was making repeated trips in and out of the back entrance to throw out trash from the damaged store. 

Content Warning: the following may be uncomfortable for some viewers. Jump to 10:30 for interaction.

While in the store parking lot, Officer Taylor instigated a shouting match with one of Ms. Campos’ coworkers. Officer Taylor made vulgar sexual comments about the employee’s mother and oral sex, using racist epithets. 

“Officer Taylor’s dehumanizing language—and his completely unnecessary escalation of conflict with this community member—is maddening to watch,” Levin added. “These Chicagoans were at work just doing their jobs.” 

After Officer Taylor’s argument with the employee, Ms. Campos continued cleaning the store. As she was carrying boxes through the store doorway to the dumpster, Ms. Campos came face-to-face with Officer Taylor, who was charging inside. Unbeknownst to Ms. Campos, Officer Taylor was looking to arrest Ms. Campos’ coworker, with whom he had instigated the earlier argument. Frightened by the officer coming toward her, Ms. Campos momentarily froze. Officer Taylor said “step back, step back,” then grabbed Ms. Campos, forcibly shoved her, and struck her face. As Ms. Campos fell backward, Officer Taylor, his partner Officer Howard, and other CPD officers entered the store. No one checked to see if Ms. Campos had been injured.  

As Officer Taylor stomped through the store, Ms. Campos pulled out her phone and began recording him and saying that he had punched her. Although Ms. Campos had a First Amendment right to record Officer Taylor and criticize his misconduct, Officer Taylor approached her, twisted her arms—forcing her to stop recording—and placed her under arrest for purportedly obstructing a police officer. 

“There was no legal basis whatsoever to arrest Ms. Campos for ‘obstructing an officer’; this was a blatant violation of Ms. Campos’s constitutional rights,” the ACLU’s Levin explained.    

Ms. Campos was taken to a CPD station, where she was detained and physically restrained for nearly five hours. While holding Ms. Campos in custody, Officers Taylor and Howard refused to tell her when she would be released and when she would be able to see her one-year-old son again. Defendant Taylor even taunted Ms. Campos about her inability to contact her child or her child’s daycare while in custody. 

Months later, the false charge against Ms. Campos was dropped.  

“My hope is that this lawsuit will help make sure that this doesn’t happen to anyone else,” said Ms. Campos. “I’m concerned that something like this could happen to me again. But I’m more afraid for when my Latino son grows up. I’m afraid for what could happen to him if we continue to have police officers like Officer Taylor patrolling this city.” 

“Not only was Ms. Campos arrested and detained when she did not do anything wrong, but the officers lied on the police reports. They fabricated information to cover up the false arrest—a widespread practice CPD officers use to conceal misconduct,” said Levin. 

“This sort of behavior by CPD officers is the antithesis of public safety and constitutional policing,” Levin added. “And the City is directly responsible because it fails to adequately train, supervise, and discipline officers like Taylor who have egregious records of misconduct.” Officer Taylor has racked up more civilian complaints than 93% of other officers. Levin explained: “This case exemplifies the City’s systemic failure to take abusive officers off the streets.” 


If you or someone you know is in a transitory living situation and needs legal support the Law Project can be reached weekdays on its toll-free helpline:  1 (800) 940-1119.

Related Media Coverage:

Video of Police Cam footage:


Sun Times

Univision Chicago