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Chicago Coalition for the Homeless
March 31, 2017

Homeless youth face unique barriers to securing safe housing and services. Because of their age and circumstances, services are often limited.

The Homeless Youth Committee, Law Project, and public policy department at the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless are collaborating with advocates statewide to introduce legislation that would provide homeless youth the opportunity to further their education, housing options, and access to counseling services.

We call this the Three Steps Home legislation.

All three bills were voted out of committee last week. Read more. 

Senior Organizer Rachel Ramirez was selected recently to participate in Cultivate, a yearlong mentorship program for women of color leaders.

Rachel, 27, organizes homeless Chicagoans through community reentry programs and shelters serving Spanish-speaking youth, families and adults. A Chicago Posse Foundation scholar who graduated from Pomona College, Rachel worked full-time while earning a master’s degree in public policy and administration last year from Northwestern University. She has worked at CCH for five years.

Fifteen women were selected this year to participate in Cultivate. The program is sponsored by Woods Fund Chicago, Chicago Community Trust, Chicago Foundation for Women, and Crossroads Fund. Read more.

Many thanks to our supporters! You joined untold thousands of Americans who phoned, emailed, rallied and posted in strong opposition to the American Health Care Act (AHCA), the Republican bill to repeal Pres. Obama’s Affordable Care Act (ACA). Unable to muster enough Republican votes, House Speaker Paul Ryan, after conferring with Pres. Trump, pulled the bill before an already-postponed vote was held Friday.

Among its draconian cutbacks, AHCA would have ended the Medicaid expansion that covers the working poor and older youth and adults experiencing homelessness, giving them life-saving access to medical care and mental health treatment.

We asked supporters to call Congress to voice their opposition, using a calling system mobilized by the Service Employees International Union. Read more.

CCH is proud to report that retired executive director Ed Shurna will be honored at a Sunday brunch event in April benefitting the Harmony, Hope & Healing Choir.

The event will be Sunday, April 30, 12:30 p.m., at Galleria Marchetti, 825 W. Erie St., Chicago. Tickets to Heart Beat 2017 are available here.

Ed spent 45 years organizing in Chicago’s neighborhoods, including 20 years with CCH before retiring in 2015. He co-founded the Ignatian Spirituality Project and helped organize Chicago’s Homeless Memorial, held every December at Old St. Pat’s Church. The HHH choir performs at the annual memorial. Read more.

By Mark Brown
The problems that President Donald Trump’s proposed federal budget would cause for Chicago extend far beyond the Meals on Wheels program that so far has received most of the attention.

The $3 billion Community Development Block Grant program that Trump would eliminate provides $1.8 million — or 20 percent — of the $8.6 million the city spends on its version of Meals on Wheels.

Homeless programs alone receive nearly $9 million a year from the city through the CDBG program, said Julie Dworkin, policy director at Chicago Coalition for the Homeless.

Although that’s only a portion of total city spending on homeless programs, eliminating CDBG funds would likely cause additional distress for emergency shelters already hurting from the state’s budget woes while also undercutting the city’s efforts to prevent homelessness.

“We’re definitely very concerned about it,” Dworkin said, noting that there is no other source to replace the funding that would be lost. Read more.


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