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Chicago Coalition for the Homeless

December 19, 2017

Niani Scott anticipates heading back to school each fall. Admitted to a dual degree program, she now studies journalism and political science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Her love of writing sparked during high school, when Niani won awards for writing “poetry focused on social injustice.”

And it was at high school that she was personally impacted by injustice.

The summer before starting at Plainfield East, Niani and her mother became homeless. A friend who lived nearby let them move in, doubling-up to avoid a shelter. Read more.

Homeless memorial service honors anonymous lives

By Mark Brown

Benjamin Soto Ramirez was a late entry to the program for Tuesday’s Chicago Homeless Persons Memorial service at Old St. Patrick’s Church.

Ramirez, 67, was beaten to death over the weekend, his body discovered on the sidewalk near the doorway where he usually slept in East Ukrainian Village.

Most homeless people don’t die quite so dramatically. They pass quietly, often out of sight, their deaths more likely an unconfirmed rumor to those who knew them on the street than the basis for a news story.

Many never get a funeral. Some of their bodies go unclaimed at the morgue.
It was with that in mind that the annual memorial service was first organized in 2010 by the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, Ignatian Spirituality Project and Old St. Pat’s. Read more.

CCH recently welcomed a new policy associate, Mercedes González. We asked her to introduce herself.

My interest in social justice stems from the issues I’ve seen my family struggle with firsthand.

As immigrants with low-wage jobs, my parents have faced homelessness more than once. Upon their arrival to the United States, they had little resources and were forced to double-up with family members. My parents were able to secure housing after a few months, but even then, our accommodations were inadequate. Heavy rains frequently inundated our home to the point where it was no longer habitable and we were forced to sleep on a mattress in the back of a U-Haul more than once. Needless to say, my family’s experience with homelessness drives my desire to assist those who face a similar uncertainty. Read more.


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