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October 24, 2014

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October 24, 2014

I first got involved with Chicago Coalition for the Homeless as a Policy Intern in the fall of 2012. They are doing such incredible work to fight with people who are homeless for their rights. The people who work there are great, and the work they do in their community organizing, policy, and law departments is so effective that I decided to stay involved by joining their Associate Board. It is a great organization, worthy of your time and money!
October 24, 2014

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October 24, 2014

I chose to do my internship with CCH because I want to be a change agent for Homelessness. I believe change agents assists in altering the capabilities of human beings and organizations. I am only interested in positive changes that will improve the lives of individuals. My life experiences (being literally homeless for ten years) has given me insight and understanding of what it feels like to be on the receiving end of services and good counsel of social workers. I believe that the coupling of my experience, passion, academic knowledge and tools of social work are a perfect blend for becoming an intern and team member at the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless. I believe that my involvement in CCH will teach and mold me into the agitator I was meant to be, help me reach my goals of becoming a good advocate for marginalized communities, and become an excellent policy maker.
Chicago Coalition for the Homeless. Believe me I have made the right decision in joining CCH!
The Chicago Coalition for the Homeless was established in 1980. The mission statement is,
“We organize and advocate to prevent and end homelessness, because we believe housing is a human right in a just society.”
There are three main programs/campaigns:
COMMUNITY ORGANIZING ADVOCACY & PUBLIC POLICY LAW PROJECT
Outreach Programs Sweet Home Chicago Legal Aid
Speakers Bureau No Youth Alone Resources for youth
Women’s Empowerment Budget Advocacy Resources for Students
Reentry Project Prostitution Alternatives College Scholarships
Jobs Project Round Table & SAGE Healthcare enrollment
Horizons Creative Writing Plan to end Homelessness in Chicago
Writing Outreach

The Community Organizing Department has many branches of organizing. The outreach program endeavors to provide outreach at over 30 facilities, with four field organizers, Dollie Brewer, Rachel Ramirez, Wayne Richards, and Dasia Skinner leading the way. The different branches of Community Organizing are, Outreach program, Speakers Bureau, Women’s Empowerment Project, Reentry Project, Job s Project, and the Horizons Creative Writing Outreach. CCH has a statewide program headed by Jim Picchetti which organizes service providers in nine suburbs. The Community Organizing department of CCH also operates a Speakers Bureau, which goes out in the community to talk at churches, schools, and civic organizations, about homelessness and their experiences while homeless. CCH has a mobile legal aide clinic run by Beth Cunningham, which goes out in neighborhoods to serve unaccompanied youth. CCH effectively offers information that lets parents know about the rights that their homeless children have, dealing with the Chicago Public Schools. Their outreach allows parents, families, and children become involved in the campaign to end homelessness and advocacy.
The Advocacy and Public Policy department includes the Sweet Home Chicago Campaign, No Youth Alone, Budget Advocacy, Prostitution Alternatives Round Table (P.A.R.T), SAGE, and the Plan to End Homelessness in Chicago. The Sweet Home Chicago campaign works with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), and nine other community organizations including Jane Addams Senior Caucus, Community Renewal Society, Albany Park Neighborhood Council, CCH, Bickerdike Redevelopment, Kenwood Oakland Community Organization (KOCO) and Action NOW works towards affordable housing, more SRO’s, making TIF funds available in low income neighborhoods to rehab apartment buildings and restoring vacant property.
The Advocacy and Public Policy department has the No Youth Alone program. This program advocates for unaccompanied children. An unaccompanied youth is a youth living without a family or guardian. A state wide youth committee was organized in 1983, which helps the No Youth Alone program work towards programs and policies that will help unaccompanied youth.
The CCH Law Project helps homeless youth and children. Over 250 children and youth are helped a year by four lawyers. These lawyers represent youth in Chicago, Suburbs, and downstate Illinois. In 2014 the Law Project closed over 298 cases. The law project works with the CCH community organizers by doing outreach at shelters.
Some significant victories of CCH are the enactment of the Illinois Homeless Bill of Rights. This bill of rights provides information about the legal rights of homeless individuals and how they are protected by this bill of rights. It makes it illegal to discriminate based on a person’s housing status. In the spring of 2014 with help from the media, community and legal pressure, CCH was able to stop the closure of two cubicle hotels that the city of Chicago was trying to close. Through CCH advocacy in Springfield over the past few years, SAGE (Survivor Advocacy Group Empowered) working with End Demand Illinois has developed support for new legislature that will end felony charges for prostitution in Illinois. They had already worked to pass three laws over the past three years that focused on traffickers and customers, but also had restorative step for the females who are prostituted and often homeless.
CCH continues to advocate in Springfield and with state legislators to maintain state funding for shelters, and homeless prevention grants, and homeless youth funding.
Current campaigns of the Community Organizing Department are the Reentry Pilot which is designed by CCH, CHA, the Safer Foundation and former incarcerated men and women. This pilot can improve how CHA addresses and helps house ex-offenders. Another campaign CCH is currently involved in is Homestretch. After the screening of a documentary entitled ‘Homestretch” about the lives of three unaccompanied youth in Chicago, CCH launched a campaign to raise $59,112 for work with homeless youth. 59,112 is the number of students identified as homeless by Illinois public schools last year. A continuing campaign is the college scholarship program. CCH awards renewable scholarships to seniors who have been homeless, a client of the law project, or a youth leader for CCH
October 23, 2014

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October 23, 2014

I've been volunteering with the Coalition for almost 2 years and really value all of the great relationships I've made over that time. The Coalition is really skilled at bringing people together to fight homelessness and have great skill empowering people without homes to speak and fight for themselves. CCH has a long list of significant accomplishments in getting policies through on affordable housing, reentry, services for homeless youth, and preserving/increasing state budgets. It is a great group of people with a real positive attitude to the work they do. Go CCH!
October 21, 2014

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October 21, 2014

Chicago Coalition is a great, well-run organization with a lot of passionate people. They consistently organized a lot of great events to help the homeless. All the staff and volunteers are committed to the cause and go above and beyond. Highly recommend for anyone looking for an organization to donate to or to volunteer at!
October 17, 2014

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October 17, 2014

I recently joined the associate board for this organization because I was so impressed by the passion that the organization has for ending homelessness. They are truly dedicated to helping those who have lost their voice, or had no voice to begin with. Plus they are all great people to hang around. The events those host are fun and engaging, and they come up with lots of innovative and fun ways to increase awareness as well as raise money!
October 31, 2013

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October 31, 2013

I've been to several events hosted by CCH. A great group of people with common purpose: to provide resources and social mobility for the homeless in Chicago and a common belief that housing is a human right. From Cheers for Change as an effective fundraiser to their awesome college scholarships programs, CCH is the flagship 501c3 if you share their belief that ending homelessness is a critical goal for the Chicago community. I do and that's why I support and will continue to support.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

October 30, 2013

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October 30, 2013

I recently had the opportunity to volunteer at a CCH Cheers for Change event, and I was blown away by the organization's ability to attract such a dedicated crowd of people who were all committed to serving an, unfortunately, oft forgotten population. CCH is a truly phenomenal organization that is steadfast in its goal to end extreme poverty for the hardest hit Chicagoans, and through their continued efforts I have no doubt that they will achieve this.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Some

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

October 30, 2013
1 person found this review helpful

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October 30, 2013
1 person found this review helpful

I was involved with CCH almost 20 years before becoming a Board member. The work the Coalition does truly makes a difference in the lives of homeless people and has ensured that no homeless person is invisible. I know this well because I was homeless in my youth.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Generate additional funds to expand the current CCH programs and develop new ones.

More feedback...

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

October 30, 2013

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October 30, 2013

CCH is an amazing organization that on the one hand is an incredible resource and support to folks who are suffering from the crushing social issue of homelessness, but is also at the forefront of creating policy changes to ensure that the basic human right of housing is available to all. The staff is an extremely dedicated and caring group of individuals. I am proud to be a board member.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Provide it with more financial resources so that they can continue to improve the lives of a large group of individuals

More feedback...

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Likely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

October 30, 2013

more

October 30, 2013

Chicago Coalition for the Homeless is a wonderful organization that is actively working to improve people's lives. They attack their mission of ending homelessness in our city with zeal, efficiency, and class. I recommend to anyone living in the city of Chicago who cares about the plight of its homeless citizens to get involved in this great organization.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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