June 29, 2016
CCH and its Law Project has awarded renewable $2,500 college scholarships to five students who succeeded in high school while coping with homelessness. Funded by private donors and grants, CCH has already awarded more than $235,000 to 50 students since 2004.
Presented on June 23, the 2016 scholarship winners are Nia Hill, Dontay Lockett, Ayrianna Longs, and Amber Doris Rodriguez of Chicago, and Claudia Kubarycz-Howzowska of west suburban Elmwood Park.
Also honored were 15 rising sophomores, juniors and seniors, earlier scholarship winners who will receive renewals of $2,500. They attend the Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois College, DePaul, DePauw and Western Illinois universities, University of Illinois-Chicago (UIC), and two historically black colleges, Benedict and Tougaloo. Read more.
CCH Organizer Jayme Robinson and Ashley Allen, a leader from our Education Committee, were featured on WBEZ's StoryCorps Chicago.
Jayme Robinson is 21 and a college graduate. That's no small feat, considering that she became homeless her senior year of high school.
Earlier this year, Chicago Public Schools updated its policies so that homeless students are now entitled to enrollment without proof-of-residence or guardianship. It also gives these students access to tutoring services, uniforms, and fees waivers, among other things.
Robinson came to the StoryCorps booth at the Chicago Cultural Center with her mentor, Ashley Allen, who used to be homeless as well. They spoke about their experiences growing up, and how that translates into the work they do today, advocating on behalf of the 20,000 homeless students in Chicago Public Schools. Listen here.
By a vote of 43-7, Chicago’s City Council passed an ordinance June 22 that regulates Airbnb and other home-sharing services. The ordinance regulates short-term home rentals by requiring registration, licensing, and data sharing.
The new ordinance includes a 4% surcharge dedicated to funding supportive services and housing for homeless families as well as people who have been chronically homeless. The surcharge is expected to generate about $2 million a year.
“This is the first time Chicago dedicated a funding stream to programs serving homeless families. It is another step forward for our HomeWorks campaign, which advocates more housing and school resources for our city’s homeless families,” said Policy Director Julie Dworkin. Read more.
A $700 million emergency funding bill to pay human service providers is still awaiting approval or veto by Gov. Bruce Rauner.
Advocates fear Rauner will veto the bill sent to him on May 18, after passing the Illinois House and Senate. The governor has told the media that he does not want to allow funding measures that are “a short-term thing” instead of “a grand bargain.”
This important bill would release emergency funding to service providers across Illinois, including those that assist homeless youth, families and adults. Providers have waited 11 months for the state to pay them for services already delivered, forcing many to close programs, lay off staff, and turn away those who need help. SB2038 would release 46% of the funds that service providers were budgeted to be paid in this fiscal year, which ends June 30. Read More.