“We Stuck Together!”

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“They [CCO staff] stayed with me during the dark days. We stuck together. I was a stranger and they took me in and took care of me.”

 About one year ago, Annie came to CCO’s Naomi House shelter for single women. She celebrated her 55th birthday with staff and other residents while staying with us. Annie’s honesty speaks for itself, with statements like, “I’ve had five years of clean time but [my recovery] is still one day at a time.”

Before coming to CCO, Annie was employed, but when she was diagnosed with a degenerative eye disease, she lost her job, her income and the stability it provided.

With her vision fading, Annie arrived at Naomi House. The discouragement was palpable, but she pressed on with her recovery and worked with staff to connect with the clinics that could save her eyesight. She said, “God puts you in places for a reason. There was a reason God sent me here. I’m grateful.”

While living at Naomi House, Annie enrolled in GED classes at a local community college. She is excited about meeting this new goal in her life. Even at 55, she is not stepping aside and watching life roll by. Now, with her classes completed, Annie is scheduled to take her GED test. We are impressed with the effort she exhibits and we look forward to seeing the outcome!

A few months ago Annie said, “I’m grateful for this place but I’m ready to go home!” We are happy to report that Annie is now permanently housed and continues on her recovery path.

Elderly and Homeless…


Aging and elderly homeless people are among the most vulnerable population we serve. This overlooked group of people often struggle with physical challenges that exacerbate their efforts to get housing. The National Coalition for the Homeless reports that “Homeless persons aged 50-65 frequently fall between the cracks of governmental safety nets: while not technically old enough to qualify for Medicare, their physical health, assaulted by poor nutrition and severe living conditions, may resemble that of a 70-year-old.”

34% of CCO’s single homeless shelter residents are over 51 years old. We welcome adults of all ages and often senior citizens and the elderly need the most assistance.

We are privileged to serve homeless senior citizens with shelter, meals and intensive case management services, always with the goal of permanent, stable housing.

If you would like to join CCO in providing a safe and beneficial space for Chicago’s homeless, click on the button below. Thank you!



Food Insecurity in Cook County…

In Chicago, 1 in 6 individuals are food insecure, not knowing when or where their next meal will be. Thanks to the Greater Chicago Food Depository hundreds of food pantries, dinner guest programs and shelters are able to offer essential food items to anyone in need. We are grateful to work along side such an effective organization in battling hunger in Chicago.

May is Older Americans Month

Older Americans MonthWhen we hear the word “homeless” we don’t often think of elderly people. Unfortunately, the number of homeless senior citizens is on the rise in America. We are privileged to know and work with many aging and elderly people at CCO. We are enriched by their wisdom and experience.

In 2008, The Department of Human and Urban Development reported there were 43,450 individuals in homeless shelters over the age of 61. Estimates for the next ten years predict the elderly homeless population will increase by 33 percent and this number will increase to fifty-four percent by 2050.