Search form

Our History

Our History

The Emergency Fund was founded in 1973, Norman H. Stone, a local businessman and philanthropist. Mr. Stone heard of a family in need and wanted to help them but could not find a financial assistance program in Chicago that operated in a quick and efficient manner. He took the initiative and created the Emergency Fund, which rapidly began covering costs for medication, food, bus passes, and even refrigerators in partnership with social service agencies. For the next forty years, the Emergency Fund would grow in terms of funds disbursed, households served, and partnerships forged.

Meanwhile, in 1997, 86 different homeless services providers organized to form Chicago’s Partnership to End Homelessness. The partnership was a collaborative effort designed to secure funding and forge strong public/private connections.

In 2001, the City of Chicago developed its first 10-Year Plan to End Homelessness that outlined several city-wide strategic priorities designed to end homelessness. In response to the plan, a second organization, known as Chicago’s Continuum of Care, sprang up as a collaborative effort to help providers align with the strategic priorities and to manage federal funding. In 2006, the Partnership to End Homelessness and the Continuum of Care consolidated to become the Chicago Alliance to End Homelessness.

In 2011, the Chicago Alliance and the Emergency Fund consolidated operations to work in partnership with one Board of Directors and one staff, while maintaining two separate 501(c)3 statuses. The combination of emergency financial assistance and a powerful network of partnering organizations helped target limited resources towards our neighbors most in need.

On May 21, 2015, the Chicago Alliance and Emergency Fund officially merged to become All Chicago Making Homelessness History. Each consolidation has more closely united key stakeholders involved in ending homelessness, removed duplicate efforts, more effectively used limited resources, and strengthened the effort to align with the strategic priorities that will ultimately lead to the end of homelessness in Chicago. The founding philosophies of both our predecessor organizations can still be seen today, as we continue to provide assistance immediately and without red tape by working in partnership with social service agencies.