Responding to the COVID-19 Outbreak

All Chicago will be updating this page as more information becomes available.
Find the Chicago COVID-19 Homeless System Agency Emergency Fund here.
Join our weekly webinar with DFSS – now every Friday at 1:00pm here.
Join our Chicago CoC Slack channel here.
See our Homeless System FAQs here.

Illustration of the novel coronavirusIntroduction to Using This Webpage

The contents of this site are for informational purposes only and are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

The purpose of this webpage is to consolidate and organize information about Coronavirus that is relevant to housing service providers and others in Chicago that serve people experiencing homelessness. Due to the rapidly evolving situation, much of this information is in the form of links to other sources. If you have feedback about this webpage, please contact

All Chicago is currently working with the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) and Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) to monitor and provide guidance for housing service providers on the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). As additional information is released we will share it as soon as possible.

Get the Most Up to Date Info

All Chicago Updates – Sign up for the All Chicago Program Newsletter, where we will be sending COVID-19 and other updates. 

Email Alert List – Get updates from the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH)

Updates from the City of Chicago

Situation Summary from the Center for Disease Control (CDC)

Special Report from the Chicago Homelessness and Health Response Group for Equity (CHHRGE)

Frequently Asked Questions for Homeless Service Providers – To be periodically updated by All Chicago


People Experiencing Homelessness and the Coronavirus

National Homelessness Information
National Healthcare for the Homeless Council, Resource links
An extensive list of links. Take a moment to review and find the most relevant to your organization.

Disease Risks and Homelessness, HUD Exchange
Links to resources from relevant federal agencies issuing guidance from subject matter experts on lessons learned from previous response efforts to infectious diseases.

Emergency Shelters Guidance

Interim Guidance for Homeless Shelters, CDC
CDC’s guidance for shelters to plan, prepare, and respond to COVID-19. This guidance is based on what is currently known about COVID-19 and will be updated as new information becomes available.

Preventing and Managing Spread of Disease within Shelters, HUD Toolkit
This document focuses on developing and implementing sanitation guidelines within the emergency shelter system of a CoC to prevent and address the spread of infectious disease.

Outreach and Drop-In Guidance

Preventing and Managing the Spread of Infectious Diseases within Encampments, HUD Toolkit
This document outlines the steps for CoCs to consider when working with local stakeholders to develop and implement sanitation guidelines for homeless encampments that can prevent infectious disease spread.

Housing Providers and Other Agencies Guidance

Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection Recommendations, from CDC
This guidance provides recommendations on the cleaning and disinfection of rooms or areas of rooms where someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 has been. It is aimed at limiting the survival of novel coronavirus in key environments. These recommendations will be updated if additional information becomes available. These guidelines are focused on community, non-healthcare facilities (e.g., schools, institutions of higher education, offices, daycare centers, businesses, community centers) that do and do not house persons overnight.

Coronavirus Disease: What Supportive Housing Providers Need to Know, from CSH
CSH has pulled together information from a variety of sources, considering the material from the vantage point of supportive housing providers, to help your agency best support your residents, your staff and your community.

Affordable Housing Providers and the Coronavirus, LeadingAge a 501©3 focused on issues of aging.
While targeted to affordable housing for older adults, the site highlights how practitioners can take steps now to develop preparedness and response plans to protect against infection.

Interim Guidance on Housing Inspections, All Chicago
The Chicago CoC has developed guidance regarding housing inspections in emergency situations.

Interim Recordkeeping Standard Operating Guidance, All Chicago
This provides guidance for housing providers on documentation and recordkeeping standards during emergency situations. See a sample protocol document here.

For Agencies, Staff, and Community Members

Symptoms and Prevention

Symptoms of the coronavirus are fever, shortness of breath and coughing. These symptoms can be associated with number of illnesses including influenza (flu).

The following are basic preventative actions to help stop the spread of COVID-19:

  • Regular hand washing with soap and water. 
  • “Social distancing” to help slow the spread of infection. 
  • Avoid touching the eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you cough. 

Grant Funds and Eligible Costs

Chicago COVID-19 Homeless System Agency Emergency Fund, All Chicago
Philanthropic partners and the Illinois Department of Human Services have provided funding for agencies to respond to the challenges of the COVID-19 outbreak. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

Using CoC Program Funds for Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response, HUD Exchange
Continuum of Care (CoC) Program grant funds can be a useful resource to support communities’ public health outbreak preparedness and response efforts.

Eligible ESG Costs for Infectious Disease Preparedness, HUD Exchange
A brief guide to Emergency Service Grant usage related to infectious disease preparedness. ESG Program recipients may use ESG Street Outreach and Emergency Shelter funds for essential supplies and services to reduce the spread of infectious disease in their programs.

Educational Materials for Staff and Residents

“Get the Facts” flyer from the Chicago Dept. of Family and Supportive Services

Handouts and Posters on COVID-19 facts, what to do if you’re sick, etc., from the CDC

Instructional Videos on stopping the spread of germs, what older adults need to know, etc. from the CDC

All Chicago’s Role in COVID-19 Response

All Chicago has created a COVID-19 Response Team and is actively working to support our many partner agencies during this challenging and quickly changing time. We are focused on the following three main areas currently:

  1. Promoting Cross-Provider Communication
  2. Securing Financial Resources to Help Agencies Respond to COVID-19
  3. Distilling Guidance from Sources

Catch up on Past Webinars:
All Chicago is hosting weekly webinars for all homeless services providers at 1:00pm every Friday to share COVID related information. See below to catch up on past webinars:
Week 1, 3/16/2020: Summary, Slides, Recording
Week 2, 3/23/2020: Summary, Slides, Recording
Week 3, 3/30/2020: Summary, Slides, Recording
Week 4, 4/6/2020: Summary, Slides, Recording

2020 Census and All Chicago

The 2020 Census will begin soon in our community, and All Chicago will be working over the next few months to ensure that Continuum of Care members and partner agencies are informed and able to promote an accurate count of all people, especially those individuals currently experiencing homelessness. An accurate count is vitally important for Illinois, as it informs billions of dollars in federal funding and congressional representation. To support this effort and to promote outreach to hard-to-count populations, All Chicago is working in coordination with YWCA of Chicago to implement an awareness campaign to people currently, or formerly, experiencing homelessness and encourage their participation in the 2020 Census. This will include:

  • Coordination of efforts and resources with our partner agencies around direct outreach to unsheltered people leading up to the end of March;
  • Email campaign to agencies and their staff detailing census processes and how to support their clients’ engagement with the census; and
  • Supporting the U.S. Census Bureau with data about homeless outreach.

What Housing Providers Need to Know

Agencies should educate their staff on the Census process so they can communicate it with their program participants. Here’s what they need to know:

  1. Individuals in Permanent Housing: Starting mid-March, households across the community will receive a letter from the U.S. Census Bureau with instructions on how to complete the census. Following these instructions, Permanent Housing residents can complete the census online at, by telephone, or by mail. Each letter has a specific code corresponding to a specific address that residents will need to enter when prompted. For assistance completing the survey in languages besides English, your residents can visit this page for instructions in thirteen additional languages.
  • Individuals currently experiencing unsheltered homelessness, or who are in site-based projects like Emergency Shelters and Transitional Housing: The Census includes two separate processes for people in these situations, occurring between March 30 and April 1. A detailed outline of the entire 2020 Census process is available here.
    • During this time period, U.S. Census Bureau staff will visit site-based housing projects, drop-in centers, and other places offering services to administer the survey to individuals using a shortened paper form.
    • Additionally, on the evening of March 31, U.S. Census Bureau staff will canvass the city, inviting individuals experiencing unsheltered homelessness to respond to the Census. Participation is voluntary, and all information is confidential.

The Census is Hiring!

The U.S. Census Bureau is still hiring people for temporary Census positions, visit to learn more about the available opportunities. All positions offer competitive pay, flexibility, and provide paid training. People of lived experience are especially encouraged to apply.

HUD Awards $115 Million to Combat Homelessness in Illinois

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced on Friday, January 31st, $115 million in funding to combat homelessness in Illinois. The Chicago Continuum of Care received over $72 million in funding for 2020. At a press conference to announce the funding, All Chicago President and CEO, Carolyn Ross, joined Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Catholic Charities of Chicago CEO, Kathleen Donahue, and Waukegan, North Chicago/Lake County, Continuum of Care Program Coordinator, Brenda O’Connell.

December 2019 All CoC Meeting Information

We’re looking forward to seeing you at 9:00 AM on Wednesday, December 18th at the All CoC Meeting! The meeting agenda and breakout session descriptions are now available.

Please review the information below to help you plan your morning:
Venue information:  The meeting will take place at Malcolm X College, 1900 W Jackson Blvd, Chicago, IL 60612. If you are arriving by public transportation or rideshare, please use the Main Entrance.

Directions, parking and transportation can be found here. Wi-Fi is free and that information can also be viewed on this document. Parking is also free in the parking garage. Please bring your ticket to the security desk to have it validated before you leave. If you have any questions about the meeting, please contact Torelen Winbush