Homeless students to receive $500 grants

This month, Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Interim Chicago Public Schools (CPS) CEO Dr. José M. Torres announced the creation of the Chicago Families Forward Fund, which will provide a $500 microgrant to CPS students experiencing housing insecurity to assist with a variety of unique and urgent needs that families and students are facing.  

This funding is a step in the right direction as families and students experiencing homelessness have faced housing instability, job loss, loss of family members and serious health issues during the pandemic. To determine eligibility for the microgrant, families need to fill out a registration form confirming eligibility here by this Friday, October 1, or pick up a paper registration form at the students’ school.



Mayor's budget adds resources to combat homelessness, but dedicated revenue still needed

Mayor Lightfoot’s 2022 budget proposal unveiled on September 20 provides significant new resources to address homelessness. The new funding is included in her Chicago Recovery Plan which allocates the Local Fiscal Recovery Fund dollars included in the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). While we are heartened to see resources allocated toward such a crucial issue for our city, these funds are one-time, and are by no means sufficient to adequately address the problem we face. 



Restaurant Meals Program pilot seeks participating restaurants

In 2019, Chicago Coalition for the Homeless worked alongside Heartland Alliance and Shriver Center on Poverty Law to expand the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). This legislation allows people who are elderly, disabled, or experiencing homelessness to purchase prepared meals with their SNAP benefits at restaurants or supermarkets with hot bars. This change helps individuals who do not have access to a kitchen or are unable to use their kitchen safely. Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) is now piloting the program in targeted zip codes before expanding it to the rest of the state, and is seeking restaurants to participate.  



Recent changes to federal programs that assist families

As we all continue to navigate the pandemic and its ramifications, Chicago Coalition for the Homeless would like to provide some information about updates to federal benefits programs that assist families and individuals in our community. Two changes of note include the expansion of the Child Tax Credit (CTC) under the America Rescue Plan, as well a modest net increase to SNAP benefits beginning October 1. 



Decade-long partnership with Riot Fest raises more than $260,000

CCH’s decade-long partnership with Riot Fest has resulted in a cumulative total of more than $260,000 raised to fight homelessness, and innumerable strong alliances formed. The value of the exposure to Riot Fest fans each year has been incalculable because we know that punk rockers make great activists!  2021 is no different, as Team Riot Fest decided that CCH and some Douglass Park community groups will receive the proceeds from their Thursday preview night ticket sales.   





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