The Emergency Fund was founded in 1973 by Norman H. Stone, a local businessman and philanthropist. Mr. Stone heard about 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 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, Chicago developed a 10-Year Plan to End Homelessness that outlined several citywide strategic priorities designed to end homelessness. In response to the plan, a second organization, known as Chicago’s Continuum of Care Board, sprang up as a collaborative effort to help providers align with the strategic priorities and to manage federal funding.
- In 2006, these two organizations consolidated to become the Chicago Alliance to End Homelessness.
- In 2011, the Chicago Alliance and the Emergency Fund consolidated operations to become a collaborative partnership with one Board of Directors and one staff, while maintaining two separate 501(c)3 statuses.
- 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.
All Chicago prevents and ends homelessness through four signature approaches:
1. Emergency Financial Assistance: We provide critical financial assistance to people experiencing an emergency that could lead to homelessness or other crises.
Our Impact: In 2021, we served 5,250 households with over $25 million in funding. 81% of clients surveyed reported being housed 90 days after receiving assistance. We created an Agency Emergency Fund, responding to urgent needs in homeless services by providing $763,000 in immediate grants to help 47 partner agencies adapt their programs and continue serving clients safely.
2. Community Partnerships: We convene key stakeholders and drive collaboration to lead Chicago’s city-wide response to ending homelessness.
Our Impact: In 2021, we collaboratively engaged $88 million in federal funding for 155 projects. Additionally we served 1,282 households through the Expedited Housing Initiative (EHI). This resulted in a decrease in the average number of days to placement in stable housing from 86 days to 59 days.
3. Data Analytics: We manage a citywide database to collect and analyze data on people experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness and the services they receive.
Our Impact: We developed interactive data dashboards for the Ending Veteran Homelessness Initiative, and the data has become a critical component for the effort which has housed more than 4,800 veterans since January 2015. In 2018, we created additional dashboards tracking Chicago’s progress toward the entire homeless services system’s goals. We support more than 1,000 individual users at 90 partner agencies with training, reports, and helpdesk services.
4. Training and Research: We provide our partners with trainings, tools, information and research to address homelessness more effectively.
Our Impact: In 2021, we hosted over 100 live training and on-demand training on our Learning Management systems covering topics such as Mental Health First Aid, Trauma-Informed Care, and Housing First Approached.
On any given night, more than 5,000 people could be found on our streets and in our shelters. Tens of thousands more are just one unexpected setback away from joining them. These are our neighbors, this is our city, and together we can ensure that we all have stable homes.
We know how to end homelessness, but we need your help to do it.