October 27, 2016
The 2017 city budget proposal released by Mayor Emanuel in October includes new, increased or restored funding for affordable housing and supportive services to homeless families, all budget issues advocated by CCH. Read more.
Five outstanding legal aid attorneys became the final class of the Chicago Bar Foundation (CBF) Sun-Times Public Interest Law Fellows, including CCH youth health attorney Graham Bowman.
As he told the bar foundation, Graham enrolled at Loyola University Chicago School of Law determined to use his law license to fight poverty.
In his three years with the Law Project at CCH, first as a two-year Equal Justice Works Fellow and currently as a Youth Futures staff attorney, Graham has served scores of unaccompanied and homeless youth, many with disabilities and severe health needs.
In addition to representing individuals experiencing homelessness in approximately 175 healthcare and public benefits cases per year, Graham drafts and advocates for legislation that promotes access to quality healthcare for homeless youth. His most successful legislation, which passed in 2014, allows unaccompanied homeless youth over the age of 14 to consent to their primary health care. Read more.
CCH hosted an Oct. 20 victory celebration to honor more than 40 community and political leaders who worked with the coalition to enact policies and legislation that betters the lives of people who are homeless.
CCH presented the John “Juancho” Donahue Award to Unity Parenting and Counseling Center for its longtime organizing leadership on the CCH Homeless Youth Committee. Accepting the award for Unity were Executive Director Flora Koppel — a member of the Youth Committee since it started in 1983 — Program Director Anne Holcomb, and youth leader Kayla Evans.
The Les Brown Award was given to Tracy Baim for extensive advocacy on behalf of homeless youth. The publisher and executive editor of Windy City Times, Tracy’s efforts include mobilizing a Homeless Youth Summit, a sleepout event that raised $42,000 for homeless youth providers, and piloting the youth locker storage initiative. Tracy was invited to join the CCH Board of Directors this fall. Read more.
CCH community organizers registered 400 homeless people to vote this fall, with outreach offered at more than 20 Chicago shelters and community sites.
Grace period registration and same-day voting is available through Election Day, on Tuesday, November 8.
Statewide, residents can go online to register themselves or update their registration through October 23, via the Illinois Board of Elections.
“Our organizers, leaders and interns worked hard to outreach to prospective voters experiencing homelessness. Leaders helped file 316 registrations on Friday and we delivered 84 more by the paper-filing deadline on Oct. 11,” said Community Organizer Keith Freeman. Read more.
Five years ago, a perfect storm challenged the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless to start the State Network, now working in 11 suburbs and downstate communities.
Federal funds from the stimulus package were drying up. Legislative allies told CCH it was more difficult to keep homeless issues a priority in Springfield. And our partners were telling CCH that no one was building a strong, unified voice for homeless people outside of Chicago. Read more.