To end homelessness, we must embrace discomfort during and after cold snap

CCH Executive Director Doug Schenkelberg submitted an op-ed to Crain’s Chicago Business, published February 4.

The city is bracing itself for extreme weather, with the temperature predicted to drop into negative digits for a number of days. During cold snaps like this, many eyes turn toward our unhoused neighbors. This year, homelessness is a crisis within a crisis – the pandemic – and it has people and institutions pivoting to add resources to protect people experiencing homelessness from this life-threatening cold, as it should. But when the cold abates and shifts back to more moderate winter temperatures, those resources will recede, and success will be measured by how few people were physically harmed rather than how many people are no longer homeless. 


Illinois Bill Makes History, Highlights Criminalization-to-Homelessness Pipeline

The Illinois General Assembly unanimously passed the Public Housing Access Bill in January as part of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus agenda. By passing this legislation, Illinois became the first state in the nation to remove long-standing barriers that have prevented many people with criminal convictions from living in public housing. Why is this a big deal? The bill limits public housing authorities’ ability to refuse housing to people who have a criminal history—including arrests and expunged, sealed, or juvenile records. 


CCH on Gov. Pritzker’s budget address: Progressive revenue options to fund housing services needed

CCH has always agreed with Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s assertion that a budget is a moral document and reveals our values. We applaud the governor’s leadership and support his efforts to close corporate tax loopholes and move forward with a plan to decouple our state tax code. We believe this is a step in the right direction. We recognize the challenges posed by the current budgetary constraints due to the pandemic, the missed opportunity to pass a progressive income tax, and ongoing budgetary difficulties. But CCH believes that in these unprecedented times, we need to ensure that those who are most in need are provided with the proper supports. 


Have School-Aged Children? You May Be Eligible for Grocery Benefits During COVID

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, students who normally get free or reduced-price meals at school may be eligible for a program, called Pandemic-EBT (P-EBT), to help your family buy groceries. For each day that K-12 schoolchildren lack access to an in-school lunch, P-EBT provides eligible families with $6.82 in benefits per student, per day. These benefits are provided on a card that can be used like a debit card to purchase food at any grocery store that accepts LINK cards. Benefits will be issued starting in March but they will be retroactive to the start of the 2020-2021 school year (August/September); benefits will go through the end of the school year.


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