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

2015 Estimate of Homeless People in Chicago

June 1, 2017

Chicago Coalition for the Homeless (CCH) has developed a new methodology for estimating the homelesspopulation in Chicago throughout the year. CCH uses a definition of homelessness which incorporatesall those considered homeless under the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD)definition, and also incorporates portions of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) McKinney-Ventodefinition of homelessness. The DOE definition includes people who are living "doubled-up," which meansstaying with others due to loss of housing or economic hardship. CCH includes doubled-up households inour definition because it more accurately captures the way most people experience homelessness.The methodology uses the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey data to estimate the numberof doubled-up individuals in Chicago in 2015. It also uses data from the city's Homeless ManagementInformation System (HMIS) from 2015 to count those served in the shelter system. It then removes duplicatesby identifying individuals who experienced both forms of homelessness during the year.

Due to State Budget Impasse More than $107 Million in Dedicated Funds for Affordable Housing Are Going Unused

December 21, 2015

As the state budget impasse nears its six-month mark, the State of Illinois has accumulated $107.8 million in 7 dedicated funds to create affordable housing and end homelessness according to a report released today. However, these funds -- such as the Illinois Affordable Housing Trust Fund and federal HOME Investment Partners Program funds -- cannot be spent without approval by the General Assembly and Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner. These 7 dedicated funds -- 6 state funds and one federal fund -- have their own revenue sources and are separate and apart from General Revenue Funds (GRF) collected from income taxes and other revenue sources. Spending these dedicated funds would not increase the state budget deficit. Based on the budget passed by the General Assembly in May 2015, the report estimates that resources from these dedicated funds and a small amount of GRF could:Fund programs serving the affordable housing needs of 172,350 people.Provide funding for 14,640 units of affordable housing.The programs not being funded include homeless prevention grants, emergency shelters and foreclosure prevention counseling. The housing units are primarily permanent supportive housing for people who were formerly homeless.

Housing and 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 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

Chicago Housing Authority Reentry Pilot

June 21, 2013

The CHA Reentry Pilot was designed by the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless (CCH) Reentry Committee and the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA). The CHA Reentry Pilot has the potential to improve CHA's responsiveness to community needs through an innovative approach to housing ex-offenders who have truly turned their lives around and who receive continued support from reentry service providers once housed.

Communities and Homelessness

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

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

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