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Chicago Coalition for the Homeless
July 31, 2017

After two fiscal years without a budget, the Illinois House and Senate came together in bipartisan fashion to enact a budget and revenue package, with final veto override votes on July 6.

Two years without a budget devastated the Illinois safety net. Homeless and housing service providers laid off staff, discontinued programs, and shuttered their doors. The budget crisis not only impacted social services statewide, it jeopardized higher education’s accreditations, dropped the state’s bond rating to near-junk status, and threatened schools’ ability to reopen this fall.

In its budget advocacy, CCH staff brought more than 1,150 homeless leaders and students to Springfield for 23 lobby days over the past two years. We pushed for a responsible revenue package and to ensure homeless and housing services received adequate funding in the proposed budget. Read more. 

After almost two years as a policy specialist, Niya Kelly left CCH to join the staff of the Chicago Metropolitan Battered Women’s Network. Before leaving, she shared some reflections on her time at CCH: 

At CCH I staffed the Homeless Youth Committee, a statewide group of 38 homeless youth providers. I also worked on state budget advocacy with the Responsible Budget Coalition, serving on its executive, legislative, and field committees, ensuring CCH was a part of the conversations concerning Illinois’s budget crisis.

I’ve really enjoyed my time at CCH. Though this is not my accomplishment, I took pride in seeing some of our extremely shy youth leaders come out of their shells as we worked on getting a budget meeting with Gov. Bruce Rauner. Caprice Williams participated in a sit-in at the governor’s Chicago office, quietly sitting in the corner. She continued to participate in actions and later met with the governor; her poise and honesty in that meeting moved me. She later shared her experience of homelessness and her meeting with the governor with Crain’s Chicago Business. Seeing Caprice blossom is the true meaning of what this work means to me and I will carry it with me always. Read more.

Innovation Spotlight: School-Housing Partnership Serves Homeless Families Who Are “Doubled-Up”

By Mary Tarullo, Associate Director of Policy, CCH

HomeWorks, a housing and schools campaign spearheaded by the CCH, is working with the city of Chicago to launch a program to provide housing for homeless families with children.

Among its innovations, the program will include doubled-up families – those seeking shelter with other people – after assessing the most vulnerable among 264 homeless families identified at the six schools. It marks the first time that local housing dollars will serve doubled-up Chicago families.

Announced in April, the program will offer permanent housing and supportive services to 100 homeless families from six Chicago elementary schools in high-crime neighborhoods.

“We are thrilled that the city committed a new resource for housing for homeless families, and in particular, that it recognizes the needs of highly vulnerable doubled-up households that previously have not been able to receive housing and services,” said CCH Executive Director Doug Schenkelberg. Read more.

Space is still available as CCH brings its annual golf outing back to the Wilmette Golf Club for a third year.

Set for Monday, August 21, the event kicks off with a grilled lunch at 12 noon and tee-off at 1:30 p.m. After golfing, participants enjoy cocktails and a dinner reception, with the opportunity to bid on fabulous silent auction prizes.

Golfing slots are still available, with foursomes at $1,500, of which $960 is tax-deductible. Anyone interested in registering can do so online HERE.  

Dedicated to the memory of CCH’s long-time director,  John “Juancho” Donahue, the 15th annual golf outing raises critical funds for its work to curb homelessness in the Chicago area. Read more.


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