Chicago HOPES provides after-school homework help, skills building, and enrichment programming to Chicago Public Schools students living in homeless shelters.
Take a moment and watch this informative and insightful video clip about the importance of education in the life of a homeless child.
Over 100 school age children reside with their parents at Cornerstone Community Outreach. Elementary and high school students alike have breakfast, put on their backpacks and head to school from CCO. The National Coalition for the Homeless states that education is one of the most stabilizing factors in the life of a homeless child. We agree.
During their stay at CCO, many families choose to have their children continue to attend their school of origin but some choose to enroll their children in area schools. Case managers work with parents to make school transitions as smooth as possible. We are fortunate to have Chicago HOPES provide students with after-school homework help, skill building and personal enrichment services on-site.
Today, over 150 neighborhood households came to CCO to “shop” through fresh fruits and vegetables, canned goods and boxed food items. Without the CCO Foodbag Program many people would struggle to pay rent and get the food they need each month.
The Greater Chicago Food Depository reports that many food insecure Chicagoans find themselves having to choose between prescription medication and food. Often choices have to be made that weaken the health or well being of persons in need. This is a special concern as we have observed more and more senior citizens in need of food help.
Your on-going support makes this program possible! Thank you!
Did you know?
Over 2,600 “shoppers” got clothing, household items and more at our Free Store in 2012. Your donated items allow us to offer this vital service to our residents and neighbors. Often families and individuals come to CCO with literally nothing but the clothes on their backs. The Free Store allows our residents and neighbors to get the items they need to begin to reestablishing their lives.
If you are interested in donating new or gently used items feel free to drop them off at 4628 N. Clifton Avenue, see the front desk personnel for assistance. Currently, the Free Store is looking for donations of maternity, plus-size, children’s clothes, socks and undergarments.
Years of sleeping under viaducts, in trains, abandoned buildings, homeless shelters, loading docks, in dumpsters, on couches of some compassionate friends and under the hazy starless Chicago sky are finally coming to an end!
Years of being surrounded by masses are also coming to an end; with the crowded drop-in centers and the never-ending lines for food, toilets and that thin mattress on the floor. The peaceful freedom of being alone and being able to choose what television station they wish to watch will now saturate their realities!
….and now that dream is turning into reality…..
Clarence, Reggie and Kenny have battled for self-sufficiency and independence for years; these men aren’t lazy bums, but a few fellas struggling and hustling to overcome the obstacles that are plopped right in front of them. These are men who don’t have the support network surrounding them, enabling them to rise above the things that have held them down. These 3 men are all in their fifties and have seen the “land of opportunity” become a mystifying mist. Because of bad credit, arrests, addictions and health woes, they have been pushed further and further into the miry clay that has trapped them.
Yet, on this blessed week, we are honored to watch their fortunes turn drastically, and for that, we are eternally thankful….
What makes me smile is that I’ve had the privilege of playing a small role in each of their stories of successful movement! I’ve seen the painful journeys each of these men have reluctantly traveled. I’ve witnessed all the blood, sweat and tears shed along the way.
In other words, we made it imperative and vitally important that Clarence, Reggie and Kenny weren’t ignored and forgotten for another 41 years! These 3 chronically homeless men remained focused in our radar…
I’m writing this today, because it’s cause to celebrate; when a chronically homeless man or woman finds a home to live in permanently, a miracle happens! Even though I believe that housing should be every person’s right, a dark reality remains; when someone struggles with homelessness for years, the task of finding permanent housing becomes almost insurmountable and they need the help and guidance of people who love and care for them! But today, these 3 men prove miracles are alive and well in Uptown! What these chronically homeless men received was, a bunch of love, support and guidance, and they found it right here at Cornerstone Community Outreach!
….and now they’re moving into their own apartments, where they’ll be able to relax in their own beds, watch their own TVs, bathe in their own tubs and choose their own food to eat!
To read the full post go to, Setting Prisoners Free.
Mothers with children, fathers with children, couples with children, inter-generational families, single women, single men, persons with physical challenges, all have a place at CCO.
“A July 2012 analysis by Chicago Coalition for the Homeless shows 105,338 Chicagoans were homeless in the course of the 2011-12 school year. This is 12% more than the 93,780 who were homeless a year earlier. The total is based, in part, on the rising enrollment of homeless students in Chicago Public Schools (CPS).” – Chicago Coalition for the Homelessness
At Cornerstone we hope to bridge the gap between homelessness and housing for our residents. By providing safe shelter, nutritious meals, case management services, referrals, physical- and mental-health services and a free store. We try to meet the needs of our residents by meeting them where they’re at and assisting them in finding permanent housing. And it’s always a joy to witness residents achieving their goals and moving toward self-sufficiency.