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Editing:October 2015 - E-Newsletter Editing:October 2015 - E-Newsletter
Chicago Coalition for the Homeless
November 13, 2015


Aja Lowrey is devoted to a mom who made her the priority, especially when things got tough – homeless tough.

The second time they were homeless was emotionally difficult for Aja, then a junior at Chicago’s Walter Payton College Prep. At her mom’s insistence, Aja stayed with family friends with a spare bed to offer. Her mom stayed in shelters.

Worried about her mother’s well-being, Aja says she cried every night. But they had no choice, Aja recalls, as her mom said “she wanted me to be safe” and Aja needed to maintain good grades at her top-ranked school.

Now a freshman at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Aja is helped in part by a $2,500 a year scholarship from the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless. Interested in a career as a physical therapist, Aja plans to major in biology. Read More.


A mobile phone app for homeless youth and providers will be ready for use in Chicago by next August, a joint project of CCH’s Youth Futures legal clinic and technical staff from Young Invincibles.

The project is funded through a generous grant awarded by the VNA Foundation.

Homeless youth in Chicago have a variety of resources available to them. But too often they are required to rely on word-of-mouth or referrals to learn where youth shelters, health clinics, legal aid and other services are located. When an overnight shelter is unavailable, youth are left scrambling, unaware that a bed may be available at a nearby shelter.

The app will provide youth with real-time information while offering phone numbers for key resources and referrals. Read more. 

After 20 years of working on behalf of families, youth and adults who are coping with homelessness, our Executive Director, Ed Shurna announced in July his plans to retire this fall.

Over 12 years, Ed’s caring leadership furthered the reach and impact of work done by the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless. Under his leadership, CCH has led and partnered on effective campaigns, built new relationships in every sector, and strengthened the finances of an organization we are proud to say has never accepted funding from the government groups with which it advocates. Read more.

CCH will celebrate Ed’s work during an evening in his honor on Thursday, November 19. The party will be held at Buddy Guy’s Legends, 700 S. Wabash Avenue, from 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online.

#GivingTuesday is December 1! We invite you to support our mission to prevent and end homelessness. Follow our updates on Facebook and Twitter



Staff Attorney Diane O'Connell was interviewed Thursday on WBEZ's Morning Shift. She explains a settlement with the city of Chicago that’s intended to protect people who sleep on Lower Wacker or under the Wilson viaduct. Listen to the interview. 


"One sleeping bag. Two pairs of shoes. Three bags. The city has rules for what homeless people can own in two areas -- Lower Wacker Drive and the Wilson viaduct in Uptown. As we head into winter, police officers have been handing out paper copies of the policy to the homeless there. Diane O’Connell is a staff attorney with the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless and she’s spent the last two and a half years interviewing homeless folks on the street about their experiences, like when police seize their possessions. She helped negotiate the policy with the city on what the homeless can and cannot have."




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