CCH Policy Reports And Publications

Since 1980, the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless (CCH) has had a clear mission: “We organize and advocate to prevent and end homelessness, because we believe housing is a human right in a just society.” We've collected all of our mission-driven policy documents here and provide access to downloadable documents as noted. Search, browse, access and get the facts, stats, and real story behind homelessness.
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Estimate of Homeless People in Chicago 2018

May 1, 2020

This report shows 76,998 Chicagoans experienced homelessness in 2018, per an annual analysis by CCH that relies on the most current U.S. census data.Though the city's aggregate homelessness count decreased from the prior year, Chicago saw a nearly 2,000-person increase among those who lived on the street or in shelters. It is a development with troubling connotations today: The city's shelter system is a hotspot for COVID-19 infections and homelessness is expected to climb dramatically during the worsening economic downturn triggered by the pandemic.Per our analysis, the number who experienced homelessness decreased by 4,282 people, or 5.9% from 2017. This net decrease was concentrated exclusively among homeless people in temporary living situations, also known as living "doubled-up" or "couch-surfing." The number who doubled-up in 2018 remained massive, at 58,872 Chicagoans.

Facts and Statistics

The State Budget Impasse Is Causing Homelessness in Illinois: A Responsible Budget with Adequate Revenue is Urgently Needed

September 10, 2015

Starting August 14, 2015 and through September 2, 2015, homeless service providers throughout Illinois were surveyed to find out what steps they have already taken in response to the state budget impasse and what steps they will have to take if the budget impasse continues and/or their funding in next year's budget is significantly reduced. One hundred and one homeless service providers responded -- agencies large and small, from urban, suburban and rural communities.

Facts and Statistics; Housing and Homelessness

The Facts Behind the Faces: A Fact Sheet from the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless (2015)

March 1, 2015

Provides national, state, and local statistics and data about affordable housing, family status of homeless households, living wage jobs, tax inequality, un- and under-employment, the poverty rate, and other exacerbating factors that feed into and exacerbate homelessness.

Facts and Statistics; Families and Homelessness; Healthcare and Homelessness; Housing and Homelessness; Jobs and Homelessness

The Facts Behind the Faces: A Fact Sheet from the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless (2011)

November 21, 2011

More than 656,000 people experienced homelessness on a typical night in the United States in 2011. Nearly two-thirds of people suffering from homelessness are individuals and the other third are people in families (parents and their children). There was a 3 percent rise in homelessness na-tionwide between 2008 and 2009, with the number of people suffering from homelessness increasing in 31 states. Meanwhile, "doubled-up" households that move in with friends or relatives in order to reduce their housing cost burden, rose 12 percent over the course of 2009. Chicago Coalition for the Homeless estimates that 93,779 unduplicated individuals exper-ence homelessness over the course of a year. One of the primary data sources is the number of homeless children identified by the public schools. We believe this to be one of the most reliable data sources on numbers of homeless people. The past two years, the number of homeless children in Chicago Public Schools increased 24% , to 15,580 in 2010-11. The city of Chicago does a point-in-time count every other year to deter-mine the number of homeless people in shelters or on the street one night. The 2011 count was done on January 25, 2011 and found 6,546 individuals who were homeless that night. Includes national, state, and local data; information about youth homelessness, violence and homelessness, and incarceration homelessness; charts, graphs, and statistics.

Children and Youth and Homelessness; Criminal Justice System and Homelessness; Facts and Statistics; Violence and Violent Crime

State Budget Cuts Will Guarantee More Households Becoming Homeless this Winter

November 21, 2011

Deep cutbacks in state funding have jeopardized two high-need programs that help Illinois households that are at immediate risk of becoming homeless, or already homeless and trying to get re-housed.Illinois' Homeless Prevention Grant program has had yearly funding cut by 87% ($9.5 million) since FY 2008, and Emergency and Transitional Housing was cut by 52% ($4.7 million) in the FY 2012 state budget. An October 2011 survey shows that because of these cuts, as we head into the winter months:Half of the Illinois agencies that distribute homeless prevention grants to households will have no funds remaining by the end of December -- so no new funds will be available until July 2012.Across Illinois, 62% of state-funded emergency shelters and transitional housing programs have already.

Facts and Statistics

Who's Getting Your Tax Dollars?

December 1, 2009

This report profiles corporations receiving Tax Increment Financing (TIF) money from downtown TIFs since 2000. Where public data is available, it shows the profits for these corporations as well as CEO compensation.The financial data raises questions about why these corporations are in need of Chicagoans' tax dollars -- and what the public benefits are. Most are highly profitable and reward their leadership with extravagant compensation. Corporate TIF recipients are required to maintain and/or increase jobs as a condition of receiving TIF funding, however the city's record of holding them accountable to this has not been stellar.

Facts and Statistics

Homelessness: Facts and Figures

April 1, 2008

Causes of homelessness are multiple and complex. Public focus often centers on personal problems, which can be contributing factors but do not alone cause homelessness.Our flawed economic and political systems fail to pro- mote justice and equality. Institutionalized racism, sexism, and other forms of discrimination create barriers to economic advancement. This fact sheet illustrates the tangible results of these larger issues, which include a dire shortage of affordable housing and healthcare, supportive services, and living-wage jobs.

Facts and Statistics

How Many People Are Homeless in Chicago? A Fiscal Year 2006 Analysis (key findings)

April 1, 2007

Over the past three decades, homelessness has persisted as a serious problem in the city of Chicago. However, throughout that time, a comprehensive, reliable figure for the number of people who do not have a home has not been determined. This is a significant gap not only in our public records but also in our public policy. By not adequately accounting for the city's homeless population, we are unable to understand the true scope of the problem. Thus, we are ill equipped to come up with realistic strategies and adequate resources to address homelessness.

Facts and Statistics

How Many People Are Homeless in Chicago? An FY 2006 Analysis

December 21, 2006

Over the past three decades, homelessness has persisted as a serious problem in the city of Chicago. However, throughout that time, there has never been a comprehensive, reliable figure for the number of people who do not have a home. This is a significant gap in not only our public records, but in our public policy. By not adequately accounting for the city's homeless population, we are unable to understand the true scope of the problem and therefore are ill equipped to come up with realistic strategies and adequate resources to address it. Estimating the number of homeless people is a distinct challenge to do as they are a transient and often invisible population. The city of Chicago conducts a partial census of the city's single-night homeless population. That count includes those who are officially reported as being served in the city's homeless shelters that night and any homeless people that can be counted on the streets or other locations outside of shelters that night. This method has limitations because it is very difficult to locate every homeless person outside, particularly on a cold winter night. Also it does not include people living temporarily with others because they cannot afford housing. This is often referred to as "doubled-up." Counting those not served in shelters or on the street may be difficult, but it is imperative to do so. To meet this challenge, the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, in collaboration with the University of Illinois at Chicago Survey Research Laboratory, developed a methodology that is designed to count both those served in shelters and those who never access shelters. The Survey Research Laboratory helped shape the methodology and reviewed the findings of the analysis. Every effort has been made to make this a conservative effort and to avoid duplication.

Facts and Statistics

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