If You Only Knew

 

This summer a beautiful mural was created at Cornerstone Community Outreach. It is called “If You Only Knew”, by Steven Teller. #MostBeautifulMuralInChicago

The empowered female figure is an emblem of hope, resilience, and natural elegance. Hardy Blue Asters which surround the young woman, are a symbol of strength. The image is intended to bring hope and inspiration to the families and single adults who are moving to safe, stable housing through Cornerstone Community Outreach.

The Hannah House program that it is painted on, provides safe shelter 55 women and children and has been operating successfully since 1989, enabling hundreds of families to move from homelessness to stable housing.

As we are nearing the end of 2019, we ask that you consider making a substantial donation to help this amazing work continue. The program is funded in part by the City of Chicago, however we need supporters like you to complete the success. Click below to see the donate today, several levels are available too!

Donate via Apple Pay

You can now donate to CCO via Apple Pay!


Today, Cornerstone became able to accept donations via Apple Pay.
Using Messages on your iPhone, iPad or Apple Watch, start a new conversation with donate@ccolife.org, then chose how much you want to donate. And you can also add a personal message when donating!

Like all your donations, they are tax deductible and go directly to Cornerstone.

If you haven’t used Apple Pay to send money yet, here’s the Apple guide on how to: 
https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT207875

Contact us if you have any questions.

#HomelessToHoused

The CCO Brochure

Know more and share what you know

Be sure to read CCO’s brochure, highlighting the programs, success and outcomes of the support being given to those experiencing homelessness.

Be informed about how you can get more involved, and share with others to get them involved too!


Direct link to share:
http://www.ccolife.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/CCO_Brochure.pdf

facebook.com/cornerstonecommunityoutreach
instagram.com/ccolife
twitter.com/ccolife

Cornerstone Food Pantry

Every Wednesday. Doors open at 9:30a, till 11:30am
Where: 4628 North Clifton Avenue, Chicago, IL 60640

“Every Wednesday over 150 people gather in the CCO dining room to “shop” for nutritious food. Canned vegetables, meat, pasta, grains, nuts, boxed food, and more, a wide variety of groceries are offered each week and over 25% consist of nutritious, fresh fruits and vegetables. The majority of CCO food pantry patrons are senior citizens. The bags of groceries they take home provides the financial relief needed to pay rent, obtain important prescription medications, or other necessities, on a fixed income.”

If you would like to volunteer, please contact us through ccolife.org/volunteer

from – http://www.ccolife.org/cco-food-pantry/

Easter Celebration at CCO

Spring is such a lively time and often reminds us of newness: flowers sprouting up, birds chirping away, a departure from an oftentimes blustery winter.

Here at Cornerstone Community Outreach, we embrace spring’s arrival after a long Chicago winter. And a highlight of spring is EASTER!! We shelter over 35 families at any given time, so there are always kids around, just waiting to experience a CCO Easter celebration.

It’s so fun for us as adults to be able to let kids experience a piece of childhood, sometimes it’s for the first time! It’s such a privilege for us to be an agent of JOY for these children, passing out Easter Baskets to them. The kiddos are excited to celebrate a holiday at Cornerstone Community Outreach and we are so excited to get to watch a happy memory unfold.

Thank you everyone who donated candy and Easter Baskets for the kids!

Strength From Each Other

Strength From Each Other

The large brick building reads “7030” and we know we have arrived at Rochelle and Dionte’s new apartment. A nearby grassy lot dotted with bright yellow dandelions makes the corner feel open and friendly. Trees, lush with leaves, stand tall along the street and black iron fences surround each sturdy brick home and apartment building. Brittany and Amanda, the family’s CCO case managers, are especially excited to visit everyone and see their new home.

With an enthusiastic smile Dionte meets us outside and leads us up the stairs to his family’s second-floor apartment. Rochelle meets us at the door with baby Leia in her arms. Two-year-old Dionte Junior toddles over, curious to find out who has come to visit.

Rochelle and Dionte’s apartment is bright, spacious and clean. We immediately feel the warmth of a real home and the energy and liveliness that small children bring to a space. After hugs and a quick tour, we settle down in the living room to talk.

Rochelle, an attentive and affectionate mother, cradles baby Leia in her arms and talks about her work and her dreams. As she speaks she patiently puts the pacifier back in the baby’s mouth and gently plays with Leia’s tiny curls. “I appreciate Cornerstone but we needed our own place. Being homeless was filled with ups and downs. Sometimes we felt ready to give up but then we looked at our kids and knew we couldn’t give up.”

Rochelle has just completed training to be a full-time driver for a company that transports people with physical challenges. The work helps others and also gives Rochelle the opportunity to work full-time and over-time. “It will keep us housed and on our feet.”

Her true employment ambition is to study to become an ultrasound technician. “That is the next step,” she says with a smile. She recalls each of her children’s ultrasounds with pleasure and wants to be a part of bringing that joy and excitement to other expectant families. “Sharing those moments with other families would bring me joy and I would have a skilled, well-paying job that I love.”

With a friendly and tenacious personality, Dionte is pursuing a brighter future with his family’s security at the heart of his plans. Dionte, a self-described family man, has committed to his role because as a child, he lost his own father to gun violence. “My dad died when he was nineteen. He didn’t get to see me grown up. I want to see my kids grow up.”

Dionte explains how he has had the employment door slammed in his face repeatedly due to a felony in his past. “But I kept trying. I got a job at Target because I was honest about my past offense and they hired me because they could see I was a hardworking person who didn’t lie. I work the night shift and Rochelle works the day shift; that way one of us is always with the kids.” Dionte is on a waiting list for a construction work apprenticeship and he is enrolled in acting classes at Chicago’s famous Second City Acting Program. Energized and unwilling to pin all of his hopes on one occupation, he is remaining flexible and open to new opportunities.

When asked what motivated them to make it through homelessness they both speak about their children, each other, and their family as a whole. “Homelessness can be a really depressing time but we got our strength from each other. We knew we couldn’t give up,” Rochelle explains.

It was a joy to visit one of CCO’s successful, ambitious young families. They have made it through homelessness with an even deeper commitment to creating a stable future for themselves and their family.

Rochelle had this to say about her experience with homelessness, “As dark as that tunnel may seem there is always going to be light at the end.” Dionte adds, “I want to always do better for my kids. I want to provide for them and make sure they have what they need. This is not the end. I feel we have a long way to go and I think we’re going to get there.”

They certainly will. Together.

(Names have been changed)

– By Beth Nicholls

By June, 2018!

This year so-far at CCO

  • 307 people have come to CCO for shelter
  • 27 families, and 28 single adults have been moved into permanent housing.
  • Over 35,000 meals have been served

And we’re only half way there!

Thank you for 2017!

You Made 2017 Awesome, Keep It Up!

As we are rounding out the holiday season, and in the last few hours of 2017, we want to say thank you for every way you have helped those sheltered at Cornerstone.

You may have come to Cornerstone and volunteered your time. Maybe you donated your new or used clothing or home goods. Possibly you chose to donate money out of your hard-earned income to help those who right now have none. However it was that you contributed, it is very appreciated. Your gift ensured that homeless families, homeless women and homeless men, were welcomed and received assistance at Cornerstone when in need.

Throughout the year, we post success stories on our social media and website, send out newsletters, emails, and thank-you letters. All of this to let you know of the good work being done through your support, and the impact it has for so many people. We hope you’ve found the photos and stories encouraging and motivating!

We ask now, that if you have not already made a year-end contribution, or if you can contribute more than you’ve been able to in the past, that you do so. If you have questions before you make that contribution, do contact us. Or if you are ready, click the donate button below!

Again, thank you for all you have already done in 2017!

Permanently Housed Up 29 % at CCO

Every person who moves from homelessness to housing is a cause for celebration. We rejoice with every one of our residents who are able to turn a key and enter their home, whether it is a mom or dad with children, single senior citizen, couple with children, three-generational family, or young adult. Finding home is the next step in a new phase of life.

While staying at Cornerstone the case-management staff work hard to make sure each person receives the assistance and services available. The work with the residents is tracked closely to be able to monitor what works and what areas can be improved on. One area tracked is how many people who come to Cornerstone homeless, successfully move into permanent housing.

We are glad to announce, that the number of people that have been housed this year so far is up by 29 percent! Already 24 families and their children, and 51 single men and women, all of whom stayed in one of CCO’s shelters moved from homelessness to permanent housing. That’s 9 more families and 16 more men and women than this time last year.

All of this can only be accomplished by your support, the hard work of the people finding home, and Cornerstone’s staff. Please consider donating today to help this wonderful work continue, and more people find home.

A donation of $4 per day can provide these wonderful, successful services for the homeless in Chicago. Donate Today!