Wounded Veteran Housed!

Join us in congratulating Fatu Ville and her four year-old daughter as they move into their new apartment! Fatu was wounded while stationed with the U.S. Military in Afghanistan. When she returned to America she had no place to stay and until recently had been a resident of our Hannah House program. Hannah shelters homeless women with children.
We enjoyed getting to know Fatu and wish her the best!
Housing and Urban Development and the Department of Veteran Affairs estimates that 67,000 American veterans are homeless on any given night.

The Next Step For A Homeless Family

One of our families in the Sylvia shelter program has gotten placement into Helping Hands, a Chicago-based transitional housing program. The couple with 5 children (from toddler to teen) will be moving into their own apartment after being at CCO for only 3 days. To be placed into housing this quickly is truly a rare and exciting event.
Mary, the families case manager helped them fill out a Helping Hands application upon their arrival on Wednesday and faxed it to the agency. The family had a successful interview on Thursday and they are moving today!
Normally, it takes a great deal time and work to escape homelessness. The systems and difficulties that people have to overcome to get housing can seem insurmountable.
We celebrate with each of our families and individuals when they become housed whether it takes 3 days or 3 months or longer.

Holy Family Students Dress-Up The Free Store!

8th grade students from Holy Family School in Chicago spent their day volunteering with Cornerstone Community Outreach. They came with great attitudes and willing hands to tackle some of the ongoing projects. Part of their crew spent hours in the Free Store sorting clothing and making things ready for the next “shopping” day. Others came with supplies in hand to do some spring cleaning in the dining room as well as helping to distribute food at the weekly food pantry.
Our Free Store is open to our shelter residents and our neighbors. Your donations of clothing and household items make this service possible. The Free Store gives people an opportunity to get their clothing needs met without cost. Anyone who has faced a Chicago winter knows how important a warm coat, hat, gloves and a scarf can be!
Thank you Holy Family students and all the faithful donors who contribute to this vital service!

Thank You, Gordon Tech and Moody Bible Institute Volunteers!

High students from Gordon Tech and graduate students from Moody Bible Institute came together at CCO last week to move a mountain of food! These two groups spent hours transferring food items from the CCO pantry to a storage space inside the shelter in preparation for a construction/ renovation project that will take place this Saturday.
Nutrition, warm meals and food distribution are among the core services of CCO. Residents of our shelter are served prepared meals each day in the CCO dining room. Our neighbors trying to make ends meet find a variety of food items they can “shop” through each Wednesday at our Food Bag Program. On Saturdays everyone is welcome to have a hot meal at our Dinner Guest Program. These programs feed hundreds of hungry men, women and children.
Food is an important part of our services and because of this we will keep you informed about the exciting pantry improvement project that will be taking place this weekend.

Chicago’s Housing Crisis

There is not a single county in the U.S. where a full-time minimum wage worker can afford even a one-bedroom apartment at what Housing & Urban Development determines to be the Fair Market Rent. -Habitat for Humanity
On Tuesday, February 28th the American Indian Center hosted a subsidized housing sign-up for Mercy Housing Lakefront. Over 500 men and women stood in line through the winter night for the opportunity to get one of the 125 units available at 6am. The huge number of people clamoring for the chance to get safe, affordable apartments speaks to the housing crisis that plagues America.
Unfortunately, the lack of housing in Chicago may be apparent only to those who stay up through the night to witness the long lines of homeless and precariously housed people, standing for hours for the few subsidized spaces available.
For those weathering the 30 degree temperatures, an affordable apartment unit would not be a luxury, it would be an opportunity to get out of the shelter or substandard housing they are currently in.  A few CCO residents were among those who will be moving into a Mercy Lakefront apartment in the near future. While we rejoice with them, we continue to search for housing for many single men, women and families with children who reside at CCO.
Mercy Housing Lakefront is an organization that provides subsidized housing to those who cannot pay standard market rent. They currently manage 21 properties and serve more than 2,800 residents. We are grateful for all they do on behalf of the homeless.