Chicago Coalition For The Homeless

Rating: 4.95 stars   76 reviews

Issues: Homeless & Housing

Location: 70 E. Lake Street Suite 720 Chicago IL 60601 USA

Mission: Chicago Coalition for the Homeless (CCH) organizes and advocates to prevent and end homelessness based on our belief that housing is a human right in a just society.
Results: • CCH is the only organization in Chicago to run regular outreach at a variety of emergency shelters, transitional housing, SRO and street programs – 30 across the city each month, reaching more than 3,500 people per year. • CCH is the only non-profit in Illinois crafting public policies that curb – and one day, can end – homelessness that hits low- and moderate-income families. We train and empower homeless people to advocate on all these issues. • Ours is the only law office in Illinois dedicated solely to serving homeless people, with focus on children and teens turned away by public schools or denied school services.  A youth attorney reaches out to unaccompanied youth living on their own, without family.
Geographic areas served: Chicago, Illinois
2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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EIN 36-3292607
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

I was so happy to have the opportunity to intern at CCH over the summer. It is an amazing and organized not-for-profit that benefits so many people in need in the Chicago area. Through the organization, I gained a better understanding of the issue of homelessness and how critical of a role CCH plays in advocating for the needs of the homeless. I am grateful to CCH for providing me with insights into the issue as well as an idea of how an organization is run effectively. The staff and volunteers are all so friendly and committed to the cause. They balance the different facets from fundraising to advocating for public policies very well. I am so impressed with the CCH team and am honored that I got to be a part of it!

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

CCH has helped me gain a better understanding of homelessness and the importance of advocacy. Working there as an intern has helped shape me as a social justice advocate and as a person in general.

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Rating: 5 stars

I have long been a supporter of Chicago Coalition for the Homeless. I have seen the effects and successes CCH has brought about in working tirelessly for those who have great needs. Because of
their dedicated work, it is rewarding to contribute time and money to support CCH since I know how
effectively they spend the money.

Mary Plunkett

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Rating: 5 stars  

I was blessed to work with the Coalition this past summer. They do profound work advocating for homeless rights. They match with advocacy with outreach services to truly serve the whole community. What a welcoming and inspiring organization!

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Rating: 5 stars  

I have been volunteering with CCH for 10 years and I have always found it to be a wonderful nonprofit. Their advocacy work is vital to protecting homeless and at risk people in Chicago and Illinois. Their staff are great to work with and I am always glad to help the organization. I would recommend helping this group to anyone who wants to work towards lasting solutions to urban homelessness.

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

The Chicago Coalition for the Homeless is a fantastic organization. They are genuinely passionate about raising awareness for a cause that affects so many. I got involved by raising money through their guest bartending program which is a clever and fun way to get people involved in donating to a worthy cause. I would highly recommend getting involved in any way that you can. I cannot imagine not having a warm bed on our cold winter nights.

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Rating: 5 stars  

My experience at the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless has been extremely fulfilling. In addition to the skills and knowledge I've acquired while tending to organizing needs, I've gained a more thorough understanding of the political and activist process. This will be infinitely helpful in future endeavors that require organizing principles.
Without the time I've spent learning the ropes at CCH, I wouldn't be nearly as prepared for professional positions as I am now.

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Rating: 5 stars  

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!

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Rating: 5 stars  

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:
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

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Rating: 5 stars  

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!

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