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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Featured

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 Facts Behind the Faces: A Fact Sheet from the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless (2018)

August 1, 2018

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.

Homeworks: Stable Home + Stable School = Bright Futures

November 1, 2015

Chicago Coalition for the Homeless surveyed 118 homeless families with school-aged children and found that the experiences of Chicago's homeless students closely mirrored what the national research showed. Surveys were conducted at public schools, shelters, and parks during the summer of 2015. More than 80% of the families interviewed have between 1 and 3 school-aged children and less than 20% have more than three children attending school.

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

Olympics Impact Affordable Housing, Homeless People and Housing Rights

September 1, 2008

As Chicago waits to hear whether it will be chosen to host the 2016 Olympics, it is importantfor housing advocates to be aware of how housing rights have been impacted in other Olympic host cities around the globe. While the Olympics are an opportunity to showcase a city to the world, the development that comes with hosting the games can often have very negative consequences, particularly for poor and marginalized people.Looking at the past 20 years of experiences of Olympic host cities, what is revealed are some rather devastating impacts on housing rights. In fact, all cities that have hosted the Olympic Games suffer similar negative consequences.

Communities and Homelessness; Housing and Homelessness

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

Alternatives to Incarceration for Women

July 6, 2007

Women in Illinois are incarcerated at record rates and at enormous cost to the state. Most are jailed for nonviolent offenses and have experienced trauma, addiction, and economic and social barriers. As a result of women's ncarceration, their children are more likely to have sychological health issues, to be placed in foster care, and to engage in delinquent behavior.Many of these women do not receive treatment and therefore become repeat offenders or parole violators. This trend is likely to be reversed if women are provided with the services they need instead of incarceration. These services include educational services, drug treatment, family reunification services, and individual and family counseling. Research shows that addressing women's multiple needs through well-designed programs, such as "Families Building Communities" in Chicago and "Positive Options, Referrals and Alternatives" in Springfield, can save the state money and help women recover.

Women and Homelessness

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

Creating Sustainable Funding for Affordable Housing in Illinois

December 1, 2006

For more than 30 years, the nation has been losing affordable rental housing for extremely low income households (those earning less than $16,000 a year nationally). Affordable housing is defined as housing stock available at 30 percent of a household's income. From 1993 to 2003, the inventory of these units plunged by 1.2 million. With losses to upgrading, abandonment, or demolition, currently there is a nationwide shortage of rentals affordable and available to low-income households of 5.4 million units.Currently, 30,000 units of assisted affordable housing in the Chicago area and nearly 70,000 units statewide are at risk of being lost to the private market by 2010.

Housing and Homelessness

Transitional Jobs: A Model Employment Service for People with Barriers

June 26, 2006

For people who experience homelessness, access to living-wage employment is often the key to finding and maintaining stable housing. Many struggle to become employed because of multiple barriers such as criminal records, lack of work experience, low skills and education levels, and mental health issues such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. The transitional jobs model is gaining in popularity as a better way to help people with barriers gain employment.

Jobs and Homelessness

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