As another school year begins, data shows that homelessness remains a major issue for students in Chicago’s public education system — particularly in wards with predominantly African American populations. This data has prompted several aldermen with the highest numbers of homeless students in their wards to urge Mayor Lori Lightfoot to support a dedicated funding stream to combat the problem.
The top 10 city wards with the highest numbers of homeless students, all on the South Side and West Side, have schools attended by 8,250 homeless students, or 50% of all the identified homeless students citywide. The homeless student population in the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) is disproportionately African-American: 81.2% of homeless students were black, 15.6% Latinx, 1.7% white, and 1.5% other ethnicities in 2018-19. Among the whole student body, only 36.6% of students were African-American.
For the eighth year in a row, CCH was honored to be a part of Riot Fest, held in Douglas Park on September 13, 14 & 15. The Riot Fest staff has been staunch supporters of our work since 2012, and this partnership has helped CCH raise over $200,000 to fulfill our mission. And 2019 became the year to beat – CCH raised a record-smashing $43,000 earned over the Riot Fest weekend. We could not be more grateful to Team Riot Fest, the artists that donated prizes, and to the wonderful volunteers that helped out this year!
Streeterville resident Dorothy Lam says she's seen homeless children cuddled up in their parents laps in the doorways of downtown Chicago more than once. But she didn't think about the total number of homeless kids in the city until she was expecting a child of her own. So she came to Curious City with a question: How many homeless kids are there in Chicago, and what can I do to help? Turns out, that depends on who you ask. Estimates range dramatically, from 1,215 to 20,779. And the number of runaways or kids without a guardian ranges from 6,745 to just seven.