Chicago, 5 other Illinois cities repeal panhandling ordinances

Chicago City Council has repealed the city's panhandling ordinance. CCH joined with the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois and National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty to send letters in August to 15 Illinois cities to warn that panhandling bans are unconstitutional. In addition to Chicago, Aurora, Oak Park, Peoria, Urbana and Decatur also acted to repeal their regressive panhandling ordinances. Elgin and East St. Louis said they no longer enforce a ban. Cicero and Champaign have said they are examining their ordinances. This effort was part of a national campaign to reverse discriminatory and unconstitutional laws.


Remember their names: Homeless Memorial

The lives of 46 men and women who died in 2018 while coping with homelessness were remembered Dec. 18 at an interfaith candlelight service at Old St. Patrick's Church. Held yearly since 2010, Chicago's Homeless Memorial service is co-led by CCH, Ignatian Spirituality Project, Franciscan Outreach, Harmony Hope & Healing Choir, and Old St. Pat's Church. Director of Organizing Wayne Richard and Maxica Williams, a mother of four and homeless leader at CCH, offered reflections during the service.


Honoring allies who helped CCH succeed in 2018

Community leaders, legislative allies, coalition partners, funders, donors, and staff of the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless came together Dec. 6 to celebrate CCH victories. The seven honorees included UChicago Poverty and Health Lab for their report: Ending Family Homelessness: Understanding the Scale and Needs of Families Experiencing Homelessness in Chicago, Alderman Walter Burnett, Jr. for being a courageous leader in the fight for housing for people experiencing homelessness in Chicago, and the Polk Bros. Foundation for their many years of funding and partnership.


In the Media: Lawsuit alleges city of Chicago discriminated against tent city homeless

The homeless residents of the Wilson and Lawrence viaducts are vowing not to quit after a Cook County judge delayed ruling on whether to dismiss their discrimination lawsuit against the city of Chicago. In this most recent lawsuit, filed in August of last year, the plaintiffs and their attorneys accuse the city of illegally targeting the homeless by concocting a plan to install bike lanes on the sidewalk, resulting in not enough space for them to reside in their makeshift tents.


Spreetail donates coats to people living on the streets

Thank you to our new friends at Spreetail for generously funding and distributing 160 ultra-durable winter coats to people living on the streets of Chicago. Chicago was the second stop on a 20 city tour for Spreetail. They will be distributing 2,000 EMPWR Coats throughout the U.S. during the next two months. These coats were made by the Empowerment Plan, a Detroit-based nonprofit that hires and trains single parents from shelters as seamstresses. 


Welcome Development Manager Erin Sindewald

I am thrilled for the opportunity to work alongside CCH's passionate staff, partners, and advocates to support housing as a human right. Early in my career I worked as a case manager at a housing organization, tasked with helping homeless men, women, and families navigate complex and unjust systems. Through this experience, I witnessed countless institutional barriers that made securing and maintaining a safe and affordable place to live incredibly difficult, and often insurmountable.


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