City of Chicago Partners with Biden-Harris Administration on New Initiative to Address Homelessness

Chicago is one of six sites selected for new initiative

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

CHICAGO Today, Mayor Brandon Johnson, Deputy Mayor of Education, Youth & Human Services Jennifer Johnson, the Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS), and All Chicago Making Homelessness History announced a partnership with the White House and the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) to participate in ALL INside, a first-of-its-kind initiative to address unsheltered homelessness.

As part of ALL INside, the City will partner with USICH and its 19 federal member agencies for up to two years to strengthen and accelerate local efforts to move unsheltered people off the streets and into homes where they can rebuild their lives.

“We must work with our federal and community partners to assist people experiencing homelessness and build pathways that ensure every Chicagoan has a roof over their head, as well as support services to help them thrive,” said Mayor Brandon Johnson. “ALL INside is an exciting initiative that helps leverage federal programs and resources to help the City and community address homelessness. I look forward to collaborating with the White House, USICH, and All Chicago Making Homelessness History to exchange best practices and help our unsheltered neighbors find safe places to live.”

To accelerate ongoing efforts by local leaders, the Biden-Harris Administration will offer innovative and tailored support to participating communities for up to two years, including:

  • Embedding a dedicated federal official in each community to accelerate locally-driven strategies and enact system-level changes to reduce unsheltered homelessness.
  • Deploying dedicated teams across the federal government to identify opportunities for regulatory relief and flexibilities, navigate federal funding streams, and facilitate a peer learning network across the communities; and
  • Convening philanthropy, the private sector, and other communities to identify opportunities for follow-on support and collaboration.

“This initiative will provide essential access to Federal alliances as we coordinate and build upon the efforts of our many partners. We know that centralized, coordinated initiatives are more effective in our efforts to find our neighbors experiencing homelessness a safe place to call home,” said Carolyn Ross, President & CEO of All Chicago Making Homelessness History, an organization that prevents and ends homelessness through emergency financial assistance, community partnerships, data analytics, and training. “We need all the help we can get to help our unsheltered neighbors, for whom the situation is dire. ALL INside creates the opportunity to seek guidance in our work to find innovative solutions to roadblocks and ways to better coordinate our efforts. This is an essential step forward in our efforts to end homelessness.”

The City of Chicago, All Chicago, and Continuum of Care identified the following points as key areas of need for the initiative:

  • A dedicated focus and priority on pathways to housing for residents returning from jails and prisons and residents with arrest or conviction records, including a systematic review of eligibility and exclusions.
  • Address the needs of unsheltered people on public transit, safety concerns near highways and under viaducts and bridges, and divert unsheltered persons from transportation systems to safer places for shelter.
  • Dedicated support to help participants in the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) make community choices to create a data system that will support collaborative change in Chicago.
  • Efficient processes for preparing and accessing documentation/IDs to support access to housing and benefits.
  • Improve the involvement of persons with lived experience in actual decision-making processes beyond the “input” stage and extending into the “implementation” stage.

“Many unsheltered people seek refuge on trains and other forms of transportation, which is why we need to ensure the City, as well as our community partners, can reach them and respond to their different needs. Improving our response on transit systems is an essential step toward supporting unsheltered residents,” said DFSS Commissioner Brandie Knazze. “With this agreement, we have a direct line to our federal partners to advocate for our unsheltered neighbors.”

ALL INside is part of All In: The Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness, which set a bold goal to reduce homelessness 25% by 2025 and ultimately build a country where every person has a safe and affordable home.

In addition, the Biden-Harris Administration will launch new cross-cutting policy efforts to address major barriers to housing, health care, and other support for people experiencing unsheltered homelessness, as mentioned in the ALL INside White House Fact Sheet and USICH Announcement released today.

Ambassador Susan Rice, the White House Domestic Policy Advisor; Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough, the chair of USICH; and USICH Executive Director Jeff Olivet will launch ALL INside in Washington, D.C., along with local leaders, including Deputy Mayor of Education, Youth & Human Services Jennifer Johnson and President Carolyn Ross. Watch the event on YouTube: https://youtube.com/live/f9KRmjJ_qCg.

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CONTACT:

Mayor’s Press Office

312.744.3334

press@cityofchicago.org

About All Chicago Making Homelessness History 

All Chicago prevents and ends homelessness through four signature approaches – Emergency Financial Assistance, Community Partnerships, Data Analytics, and Training. Learn more at allchicago.org.   

Media requests should be directed to Hank Sartin, Director of Communications at All Chicago, at hsartin@allchicago.org or 872.291.1278.   

As Migrants Wait For Shelter Openings At Police Station, Northwest Side Neighbors Flock To Help

More federal assistance could be coming to Chicago to help with the migrant crisis as families wait for shelter space in police stations.

At Block Club Chicago, Ariel Parrella-Aureli reports on how northwest side neighbors are offering help to migrants bussed from Texas, many of whom are sleeping at police stations while waiting for housing.

Read the full article on Block Club Chicago.

Photo Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago

About All Chicago Making Homelessness History 

All Chicago prevents and ends homelessness through four signature approaches – Emergency Financial Assistance, Community Partnerships, Data Analytics, and Training. Learn more at allchicago.org.   

Media requests should be directed to Hank Sartin, Director of Communications at All Chicago, at hsartin@allchicago.org or 872-291-1278.   

HUD Awards $5.6 Billion in Annual Grants for Affordable Housing, Community Development, and Homeless Assistance

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

WASHINGTON The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today announced $5.6 billion in funding will go to 1,200 communities through more than 2,400 grants to States, urban counties, insular areas, DC, Puerto Rico, and local organizations across the country. These annual formula grants provide critical funding for a wide range of activities including affordable housing, community development, and homeless assistance. View a complete list of all the communities who received funding.

“Viable communities must promote integrated approaches to develop decent housing, suitable living environments, and expand economic opportunities to the most vulnerable,” said HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge. “These funds allow communities to address their unique needs by prioritizing what matters most to their residents and letting them own their investments in community development through these important federal resources.”

“This funding allows communities to address their most pressing local needs, providing flexible resources to build homes, support renters and homeowners, provide life-saving assistance to people experiencing homelessness, and improve public facilities, community resilience, and local economies,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development Marion McFadden. “HUD’s annual formula block grants allow states and localities to invest in the success of neighborhoods and allow people of modest means to thrive.”

The grants announced today are provided through the following HUD programs:

  • $3.3 billion to 1239 states and localities to build stronger communities — The Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) provides annual grants on a formula basis to states, cities, counties, and insular areas to develop stronger, more resilient communities by providing decent housing and a suitable living environment, and by expanding economic opportunities, principally for low- and moderate-income people. In 2022 the program helped over 60,000 families through housing activities, 46,000 individuals through job creation or retention, 83,500 people experiencing homelessness through improvements to homelessness facilities, over 5.3 million people through public services, and over 39 million people through public improvements.
  • $1.5 billion to 664 participating jurisdictions to produce affordable housing — The HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME) is the primary Federal tool of States and local governments to produce affordable rental and owner-occupied housing for low-income families. HOME funds a wide range of activities including building, buying, and/or rehabilitating affordable housing for rent or homeownership or providing direct rental assistance to low-income people. HOME projects leverage non-federal funds including, in many cases, tax credits for affordable rental housing. In 2022 the program helped create over 15,000 units of housing and nearly 17,000 households were assisted with tenant based rental assistance through the HOME program.
  • $499 million to 130 qualifying cities and eligible states to connect people with HIV/AIDS to housing and support — The Housing Opportunities for Persons With HIV/AIDS (HOPWA) program provides stable and permanent housing assistance and supportive services to low-income people living with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). Over 100,000 households receive HOPWA housing assistance and/or supportive services annually.
  • $290 million to 359 states and localities to address homelessness — Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) provides funds for homeless shelters, assists in the operation of local shelters, and funds related social service and homeless prevention programs. Recipients enable people to quickly regain stability in permanent housing after experiencing a housing crisis and/or homelessness. ESG funds may be used for street outreach, emergency shelter, homelessness prevention, and rapid re-housing assistance. Annually, ESG connects over 350,000 people to emergency shelter as they transition to permanent housing
  • $30 million to 23 States and the District of Columbia to support recovery from substance use disorder — The Recovery Housing Program (RHP) allows States and the District of Columbia to provide stable, transitional housing for individuals in recovery from a substance-use disorder.

Combined the programs will provide critically needed funding to thousands of local programs in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Hawaii, Guam, American Samoa, and Northern Mariana Islands.

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HUD’s mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all.
More information about HUD and its programs is available at www.hud.gov and https://espanol.hud.gov.

You can also connect with HUD on social media and follow Secretary Fudge on Twitter and Facebook or sign up for news alerts on HUD’s Email List.

HUD COVID-19 Resources and Fact Sheets

Learn More About HUD’s Property Appraisal and Valuation Equity Work

About All Chicago Making Homelessness History 

All Chicago prevents and ends homelessness through four signature approaches – Emergency Financial Assistance, Community Partnerships, Data Analytics, and Training. Learn more at allchicago.org.   

Media requests should be directed to Hank Sartin, Director of Communications at All Chicago, at hsartin@allchicago.org or 872-291-1278.   

Chicago Receives $60 Million, Nation’s Largest Award, to Address Unsheltered Homelessness

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

CHICAGO In a press conference yesterday, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Marcia Fudge announced that Chicago has been awarded $60 million over a three-year span to address unsheltered homelessness. Secretary Fudge joined Mayor Lori Lightfoot, All Chicago Making Homelessness History President & CEO Carolyn Ross, Lived Experience Commission Co-Chair Richard Rowe, and Chicago Housing Authority Chief Executive Officer Tracey Scott to highlight the Biden Administration’s commitment to addressing homelessness.  

HUD awarded $315 million in Special Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) Competition Awards in 46 communities across the U.S. Chicago’s award of $60 million was the largest single grant. 

“This funding is transformational. It will allow us to expand our services, improve our system-level coordination, and move more people into housing,” said Carolyn Ross. “We will be able to develop more robust outreach teams with immediate access to housing, and we will offer more supportive services for our clients once they are in housing.”  

The Chicago Continuum of Care is using these resources to implement a comprehensive plan to reduce unsheltered homelessness that strengthens homeless outreach, provides rapid access to permanent housing and supportive services. The city’s plan also leverages health, behavioral health, and supportive services from partner organizations, as well as housing resources administered by the Chicago Housing Authority. 

All Chicago and the Chicago Continuum of Care worked closely with people with lived experience of homelessness to determine the most effective ways to enhance and expand services for people experiencing unsheltered homelessness. “Chicago wrote an amazing proposal. By far, one of the very best we’ve ever seen to express the need that exists here,” said Secretary Fudge.  

This additional support will help approximately 300 people experiencing unsheltered homelessness move into housing each year. The funds will support new housing opportunities to the homeless response system: over 700 units of permanent supportive housing (non-time limited subsidies with intensive case management and support services), and over 50 units of rapid rehousing (time limited subsidies with case management and support services. The grant will help lay the groundwork for continued success.  

Click here to see more information about the award announcement.  

Click here to view the full press conference.

About All Chicago Making Homelessness History 

All Chicago prevents and ends homelessness through four signature approaches – Emergency Financial Assistance, Community Partnerships, Data Analytics, and Training. Learn more at allchicago.org.   

Media requests should be directed to Hank Sartin, Director of Communications at All Chicago, at hsartin@allchicago.org or 872-291-1278.   

Statement on All In: Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

CHICAGO All Chicago supports the Biden-Harris administration’s newly released All In: Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness. Developed by the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) in collaboration with 19 federal agencies comprising the USICH council, this plan outlines new strategies to reach an ambitious yet achievable goal of reducing homelessness by 25% by 2025.  

All In is a strategic, comprehensive, and inclusive plan that seeks to prevent homelessness systemically, increase the supply of housing with supportive services, and combat systemic racism that has created disparities in homelessness.  

“We are encouraged by the new strategic plan, which aligns with All Chicago’s core values,” says Carolyn Ross, All Chicago CEO & President. “This federal plan is an important step forward, and All Chicago looks forward to participating in the increased effort to prevent and end homelessness.” All Chicago’s mission is to unite the community and resources to provide solutions that ensure and sustain the stability of home. 

Centered around six pillars – equity, data and evidence, collaboration, housing and support, crisis response, and prevention – the plan outlines strategies and actions that lay the groundwork for a future where everyone has a place to call home. It recommits proven strategies, including the “Housing First” model – an approach where housing is the first step to a better, safer, and healthier life. It also serves as a platform for providing services so people can stay housed. The plan sets the foundation for new initiatives, including one to reduce unsheltered homelessness.  

“Housing should be treated as a human right,” said USICH Executive Director Jeff Olivet. “The United States can end homelessness by fixing systems – not by blaming the people being failed by them. With All In, the Biden-Harris administrations outlined strategies and actions for doing just that. Now we must scale what works and develop new and creative solutions to build a future where no one experiences the tragedy and indignity of homelessness.” 

Learn more about the Federal Strategic Plan at: www.usich.gov/fsp 

About All Chicago Making Homelessness History 

All Chicago prevents and ends homelessness through four signature approaches – Emergency Financial Assistance, Community Partnerships, Data Analytics, and Training. Learn more at allchicago.org.  

Media requests should be directed to Hank Sartin, Director of Communications at All Chicago, at hsartin@allchicago.org or 872-291-1278.   

The Expedited Housing Initiative has Surpassed 1800 Households Rehoused through an Innovative Initiative to Make Rehousing Processes More Efficient 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

CHICAGO The Chicago Continuum of Care announced today that the Expedited Housing Initiative, a program begun in 2020 to rehouse individuals and families at risk during the COVID-19 pandemic, has now served more than 1800 households. 

The Expedited Housing Initiative (EHI) is a collaborative effort involving the Chicago Department of Family & Support Services (DFSS), Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH), All Chicago Making Homelessness History, and the Chicago Continuum of Care and its partner organizations.  

The EHI was initiated in response to the pandemic, which made housing-insecure populations more vulnerable than ever. Many people experiencing homelessness are considered high risk for COVID-19 exposure and need access to immediate housing.  

“This milestone emphasizes the power of collaboration and a holistic approach. The EHI has brought together partners from both the public sectors and nonprofit sectors, as well as landlords and individuals with lived experience to examine all aspects of our systems,” said Brandie Knazze, Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Family & Support Services and co-chair of the Continuum of Care. “But it all leads to the same goal: solving homelessness through housing.” 

The program uses federal funding to assist individuals and families experiencing homelessness to quickly obtain housing. This funding provides financial and support services to ensure success. The initiative focuses on community engagement, collaboration, and accountability to streamline the housing process and enact lasting change.  

By leveraging an unprecedented reduction of barriers and a $35 million in federal CARES Act funding, the EHI has improved system wide efforts and housed more people faster than ever before. It takes 66 days for an EHI client to move into their rental unit. 

“This began as a response to a crisis, when we asked what we could do to streamline processes to keep people at risk of or facing homelessness safe from Covid-19. It has evolved into a staging ground for innovation. The 1800 households we have been able to serve demonstrate what is possible when we foster bold new approaches,” said Ken Burnett, co-chair of the Continuum of Care Board of Directors. 

The initiative has developed new approaches, including Accelerated Moving Events (AMEs), one-day events allow groups to complete several steps of the housing process at once. At AMEs, participants can view photos of available units, complete applications with onsite assistance, and select furniture. 

By connecting people experiencing homelessness to housing and services, they have a platform from which they can address other areas that may have contributed to their homelessness — such as employment, health, and substance abuse. 

“I knew I needed a big change in my life, and so I’ve been working hard to get clean and make a living. Thanks to my new place, all of that is so much easier,” said Eric Freeman, recently housed through the EHI. “This is maybe the most gratifying experience of my life right now.” 

The EHI brings together an array of service providers. Participating organizations include: A Safe Haven Foundation, Apna Ghar, Catholic Charities, Center for Housing and Health, Deborah’s Place, Facing Forward, Featherfist, Housing Opportunities for Women, Inner Voice, Kan Win, La Casa Norte, Metropolitan Family Services, Puerto Rican Cultural Center, Renaissance Social Services, Sarah’s Circle, TASC, The Boulevard, The Night Ministry, Unity Parenting, Volunteers of America, and WINGS.  

Media requests should be directed to Hank Sartin, Director of Communications at All Chicago, at hsartin@allchicago.org or 872-291-1278.   

Chicago Leads Nation’s Large Cities’ Public Housing Authorities in Utilizing Emergency Housing Vouchers Through a Partnership with All Chicago, Chicago Continuum of Care, and the Chicago Housing Authority 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

CHICAGO All Chicago Making Homelessness announced that the City of Chicago is leading the nations large cities public housing authorities in utilizing Emergency Housing Vouchers (EHVs) issued by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.  

The City of Chicago was awarded 1,165 Emergency Housing Vouchers, the countrys 6th largest allocation of vouchers. As of November 1, Chicago has utilized approximately 79% of the awarded vouchers, compared to the national average rate of 52%. The utilization of the EHVs was a collaborative effort involving All Chicago, the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA), and numerous homelessness service providers within the Chicago Continuum of Care (CoC).  

The Emergency Housing Voucher program is the first-ever special-purpose voucher program within HUD to address homelessness that is not specific to veterans. Through the program, HUD awarded 70,000 housing choice vouchers to local public housing authorities to assist individuals and families who are homeless or at risk of homelessness; fleeing or attempting to flee domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, or human trafficking; or who are recently homeless or have a high risk of housing instability.  

“The successful utilization of these EHVs is largely due to the CoC’s quick action and partnership with the Chicago Housing Authority and All Chicago,” states Nicole Bahena, VP of Community Partnerships at All Chicago. “All Chicago coordinated referrals into EHVs and provided significant training, technical assistance, and coordination between CoC providers and CHA. In addition, Chicago Rents, a CoC program hosted by All Chicago, provided unit location services for those going into EHVs. Because of this system-level coordination, Chicago is leading the country in EHV utilization.” 

Learn more about the EHV program and access the EHV dashboard at: www.hud.gov/ehv.  

About All Chicago Making Homelessness History 

All Chicago’s mission is to unite our community and resources to provide solutions that ensure and sustain the stability of a home. All Chicago prevents and ends homelessness through four signature approaches Emergency Financial Assistance, Community Partnerships, Data Analytics, and Training. Learn more at allchicago.org.  

Media requests should be directed to Hank Sartin, Director of Communications at All Chicago, at hsartin@allchicago.org or 872-291-1278.   

All Chicago Receives $5 Million Bezos Day 1 Families Fund Grant to Help End Homelessness for Families in Chicago

Day 1 Families Fund grants $96.2 million to 32 nonprofits across the country to provide shelter for children and families in need 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

CHICAGO – All Chicago Making Homelessness History, the organization responsible for leading a system of more than 100 partners that work to address homelessness through Chicago’s Continuum of Care, today announced that it has been selected to receive a $5 million grant from the Bezos Day 1 Families Fund—the largest private grant in All Chicago’s history. Launched in 2018 by Amazon founder and executive chair Jeff Bezos, the Day 1 Families Fund issues annual leadership awards to organizations and civic groups doing compassionate, needle-moving work to provide shelter and hunger support to address the immediate needs of young families.  

“This grant allows us to extend the impact of the Expedited Housing Initiative, a program developed during the pandemic to find a more efficient way to rehouse people experiencing homelessness,” said Carolyn Ross, CEO of All Chicago Making Homelessness History. “The grant helps us as we strive to move beyond a short-term emergency response to a long-term system change that secures a home for the families and individuals facing homelessness.” 

This one-time grant will allow All Chicago Making Homelessness History to provide its partners on the frontlines with funds and resources to extend their housing services and support for families. This will include building on its state-of-the-art Expedited Housing Initiative, which has rapidly rehoused more than 1,200 Chicago families and individuals in the last year through Accelerated Moving Events that allow families to find and select a home, complete applications and obtain furniture all in one day. Through this and other efforts of its partners, All Chicago plans to help an additional 350 families divert from homelessness over the next year. 

“With the help of All Chicago, I had a better thing to look forward to. It didn’t even take two months; just that fast. I got a two-bedroom apartment. I am able to invite others over now. It’s support. It’s help. It’s housing,” said Leonard McGruder, a participant in the Expedited Housing Initiative. 

All Chicago Making Homelessness History was selected as a Day 1 Families Fund grant recipient by an independent advisory board comprised of homelessness experts with experience in policy, advocacy, racial equity, child welfare and housing and service delivery, as well as firsthand experience in homelessness. 

This year, the Day 1 Families Fund issued a total of $96.2 million in grants to 32 organizations across the country. The 2021 Day 1 Families Fund grant recipients are: ACLAMO; Adopt-A-Family of the Palm Beaches; Alabama Rural Coalition for the Homeless, Inc.; All Chicago Making Homelessness History; AACI (Asian Americans for Community Involvement); Building Changes and Africatown International; Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Santa Rosa; Colorado Coalition for the Homeless; Covenant House Alaska; Destination: Home; Doorways; Family Life Center; Family Service League; Friends of the Family; Homeless Action Network of Detroit; Homeward; LifeMoves; Lubbock Open Door; Mesilla Valley Community of Hope; Mid-Maine Homeless Shelter & Services; Mississippi United to End Homelessness; Newcap, Inc.; Orange County Asian and Pacific Islander Community Alliance (OCAPICA); Portland Homeless Family Solutions; Project Community Connections, Inc.; Rural Alaska Community Action Program (RurAL CAP); Sacramento Steps Forward; SHELTER, Inc.; Texas Homeless Network; The Link; Tri- County Community Action Agency, Inc.; and Union Station Homeless Services. 

“With the help of All Chicago, I had a better thing to look forward to. It didn’t even take two months; just that fast. I got a two-bedroom apartment. I am able to invite others over now. It’s support. It’s help. It’s housing,” said Leonard McGruder, a participant in the Expedited Housing Initiative.  

The Bezos Day One Fund made a $2 billion commitment to focus on making meaningful and lasting impacts in two areas: funding existing non-profits that help families experiencing homelessness, and creating a network of new, non-profit tier-one preschools in low-income communities. The Day 1 Families Fund issues annual leadership awards to organizations and civic groups doing compassionate, needle-moving work to provide shelter and hunger support to address the immediate needs of young families. Since 2018, the Day 1 Families Fund has issued 130 grants totaling more than $398 million to organizations around the country working to combat homelessness and help families gain housing support and stability. The vision statement comes from the inspiring Mary’s Place in Seattle: no child sleeps outside. For more information, visit www.BezosDayOneFund.org/Day1FamiliesFund

About All Chicago Making Homelessness History 

All Chicago Making Homelessness History is dedicated to preventing and ending homelessness across Chicago through four signature approaches: Emergency Financial Assistance, Community Partnerships, Data Analytics, and Training and Research. We provide critical financial assistance to people experiencing an emergency that could lead to homelessness or other crises. We convene key stakeholders and drive collaboration to lead Chicago’s city-wide response to ending homelessness. We manage a citywide database to collect and analyze data on people experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness and the services they receive. We provide our partners with trainings, tools, information and research to address homelessness more effectively. 

Media requests should be directed to Hank Sartin, Director of Communications at All Chicago, at hsartin@allchicago.org or 872-291-1278.