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Chicago Coalition for the Homeless

October 30, 2013

Equal Justice Works: Graham Bowman joins legal staff to advocate for health care access for youth

As the U.S. enters a new era of healthcare for all, CCH is pleased to welcome attorney Graham Bowman, its first staff member to work full-time advocating for the healthcare rights of people experiencing homelessness.

Graham’s work is supported by Equal Justice Works, through a two-year fellowship funded by Pfizer, Inc. and Jackson Lewis LLP. Working with the Law Project at CCH, Graham will train service providers to help older homeless youth apply for health coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Outreach also is planned at adult shelters that house older youth. Read More

Should Loop merchants be in the social work business?

This op-ed piece by CCH Executive Director Ed Shurna was published Monday by Crain's Chicago Business. 

“When people in power start saying stuff like ‘nobody should have to live like that,’ those who are living like that know to be on guard against something bad headed their way.”

This was Mark Brown’s assertion in his Feb. 23 Chicago Sun-Times column about the potential closure of two of Chicago’s cubicle hotels. I thought of Mr. Brown cautionary words when I read Crain’s Oct. 21 report on the Chicago Loop Alliance’s new “Street Team Ambassadors” and their goals for improving State Street. Crain’s reporter Brigid Sweeney describes the aim of the street ambassadors: to make State Street “welcoming, clean and free from recurring panhandlers.” Read More

CCH brings 201 people to ‘Take Back Chicago’ rally 

More than 1,300 people and 35 community and labor organizations mobilized to “Take Back Chicago” during a rally on the University of Illinois-Chicago campus.

Walking into the UIC Forum, participants were excited by the crowd of people in yellow, blue, red and purple T-shirts, and large signs listing off the many city neighborhoods represented in the room.

CCH organizers brought 201 people to the event, including more than 130 residents of shelters across Chicago. The CCH group included 44 college and high school students who work with the CCH Speakers Bureau, students from Chicago’s Mather and Curie high schools and DePaul, Loyola and University of Chicago. Read More

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CCH hosts bill-signing as Illinois becomes 2nd state to enact a Homeless Bill of Rights

Gov. Pat Quinn signed the Illinois Bill of Rights for the Homeless (Senate Bill 1210), making ours the second state in the country to enact a bill barring discrimination against people without housing.

CCH hosted a bill-signing ceremony at its Loop office.
Among those joining the celebration were chief legislative sponsors State Sen. Ira Silverstein (D-Chicago) and Rep. Emanuel (Chris) Welch (D-Westchester).

CCH Policy Specialist Jennifer Cushman worked with both legislative sponsors to secure support for the bill, which passed the Illinois General Assembly in one session. Sponsoring legislators both praised her advocacy, with Rep. Welch noting that Ms. Cushman was at his office to talk with him about the bill within a half hour of signing on as a sponsor.
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Law Project reaches out to homeless students & educators 

Before school resumed, the CCH Law Project was reaching out to homeless students about school resources as well as training Chicago Public Schools (CPS) staff who work with homeless children and teens.

Law’s outreach project – Every Child in School, Every Day – distributed back-to-school materials in the Brighton Park and Back of the Yards neighborhoods on August 22, four days before classes resumed. A signature project of JPMorgan Chase’s legal department, the outreach program mobilizes volunteers from Chase, CCH, and area law schools. More than 4,000 door hangers, brochures and posters were distributed that day at homes, shops and community venues by 15 Chase volunteers and six CCH staff members
. Read More