July 28, 2016
Taishi Neuman wanted to help other families coping with homelessness. First homeless herself at age 15, she experienced homelessness again after multiple sclerosis left her unable to continue work as a nursing home assistant.
Still, Taishi thought she was too quiet to speak up.
Then she met a community organizer from CCH. He was running an outreach session, telling parents at her transitional housing program how they could work with the coalition to remedy school issues faced by homeless families.
“I asked him, ‘How can I get on board with this?’ I explained that I’m a little shy, so I’m not sure I could do all that talking. But a lot of things that J.D. said to get me to open up were true. He said, ‘Your story can take people a long way. You never know what someone else is going through unless you open up and tell your story.’” Read more.
This month, we have all borne witness to the killing of two black men at the hands of police. The deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile are as distressing and unnecessary as were similar tragedies that have come before, in Chicago and across the U.S.
The American reality is that if you are black, you are more likely to be killed by the police than if you are white.
This pattern repeats itself when it comes to homelessness.
- Blacks are five times more likely to experience homelessness than whites.
- Black families are seven times more likely to live in a shelter than whites.
- Blacks are incarcerated at nearly six times the rate of whites.
- Black youth are over five times more likely to be homeless than whites.
CCH stands with Black Lives Matter and its peers in the struggle to end police violence towards blacks. Moreover, we are making a new, clear commitment to use a racial equity lens to focus our work – internally and externally – to achieve our goal of eradicating homelessness. In the coming weeks, we will improve our understanding of our implicit bias and the nature of structural racism, and put in place practical change that allows us to amplify our work to address racial equity. Read more.
Roberto Martinez has joined the Law Project staff as Intake Specialist, succeeding Ali Heinen as she heads to law school this fall.
Roberto served the past year as a compañero at Taller De José, a social services agency in Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood. A compañero fulfills many of the same duties as an intake specialist, navigating legal, medical, and financial issues for clients, while overcoming obstacles such as language and immigration status.
Roberto has bilingual fluency in English and Spanish. At Taller de José, he conducted over 90% of his intakes in Spanish.
Ali Heinen concluded her CCH tenure on July 22, prior to starting law school at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. Ali received Sturm’s prestigious Chancellor’s Scholarship, a full-tuition scholarship for students interested in careers in public interest law. Read more.
Associate Director of Organizing Wayne Richard is spending three weeks in central Europe, teaching community organizing practices through an international exchange program.
Wayne’s training sessions in Slovakia and Hungary are offered through the Great Lakes Consortium (GLC) for International Training and Development.
Since 2012, the organizing exchange has brought five of our organizers to Europe to offer training. CCH also hosted nine fellows in Chicago.
While in Europe, Wayne’s training work included facilitating a panel discussion on organizing for 23 fellows in Slovakia. The group included youth interested in organizing people through the arts, as Wayne does through Horizons, his creative writing outreach program in Chicago’s family shelters. Read More.