Are you Experiencing Homelessness?

Park BenchAre you experiencing homelessness? If you are in the City of Chicago, call 311 and let the operator know that you are homeless and in need of shelter. Let them know if you have children in your care and/or a spouse. If you are not able to make a 311 call, go to the nearest hospital emergency room, police station, or fire department. Once you are at one of these locations inform staff that you or your family need shelter. They will arrange for Department of Family and Support Services driver to take you to a shelter with available space.

You may feel alone but know that many people have been in your situation and made it through to safe shelter and housing. Getting help is the first step.

Hunger Awareness Month

Hunger Slider - Copy“For now I ask no more than the justice of eating.”
— Pablo Neruda, Chilean Poet, Nobel Prize Winner

Join CCO in the fight against hunger in Chicago, where 1 in 6 people experience hunger and food insecurity. What is food insecurity? It’s when a person does not know whether they will be able to eat their next meal or meals because of lack of money.

At CCO, we are committed to offering nutritious meals to the hundreds of families and individuals who are sheltered with us. Food is a critical element in stabilizing a person’s health so that they are able to attend school, begin to recover from trauma, complete job training, access housing, and care for themselves and their family. In addition to our shelter guests, the CCO Food Pantry offers groceries to over 150 households each week.

Please consider making a donation to CCO today that will benefit those we serve and help them along the road to wellness. Click here to visit our donation page.

Can’t donate at this time? You can get involved by volunteering your time at CCO. We truly couldn’t fight poverty in Chicago without an army of valuable volunteers working alongside us. Serving meals, taking out the trash, cleaning, planting flowers, doing dishes, many hands make light work. Click here to visit our volunteer page.

Would you like to donate goods? Our CCO Free Store offers clothing and household items free of charge to everyone sheltered with us and many of our neighbors in need. The majority of the families and individuals who come to CCO for the first time have no income. Free clothing and shoes are necessary essentials. Gently-used items can be dropped off at 4628 N. Clifton Avenue in Chicago.

Are you an amateur athlete? CCO’s charitable fitness group, Team CCO, offers a fundraising avenue for those would like to run, walk, or climb their way to a better world. Click here to see what charitable fitness options are available to you.

Do you have a creative idea that will help people experiencing homelessness? Feel free to contact us at info@ccolife.org to make an inquiry.

Homelessness to Olympic Gold

English GardnerCongratulations to English Gardner, who won a gold medal at the Rio Olympic Games in the women’s 4 x 100 meter relay. Gardner and her family experienced homelessness during her childhood. She has overcome injury, illness, and homelessness, and strives to become the fastest woman on earth. You are an inspiration to the children at CCO and other shelters across America. We’re proud of you English!

Team CCO Triathlon Photo Album

Congratulations to the members of Team CCO who competed in this years Chicago Triathlon! The triathlon was a new charitable fitness option in 2016 and it was a great success! The team raised over $1,700 through swimming, cycling, and running for the families and individuals sheltered at CCO.

It’s not too late to donate! Visit the Team CCO CrowdRise page to support the team that supports for CCO.

Eve shared about her motivation to get through the grueling  biking section of the Chicago Triathlon:

 “I never realized how many hills are on Lake Shore Drive but riding up them, after swimming a half mile, I sure noticed! At first I was cursing those hills with my legs on fire, but then I realized homeless people sleep under these bridges. This is an overpass, this is why I am doing this because people sleep under overpasses when what they really need is shelter and a home. So those hills became an opportunity to pray, for each man, woman and child that has to sleep under there, in a shelter family room, or in a bunk bed in an open dorm. The cycling piece of this triathlon was a little slow but it was filled with joy, peace, and the presence of God. I am happy I took the time to be present to the pain. It was a good reminder of why I chose to do this race.”

The members of Team CCO are everyday people like you and I who wish to use fitness and athletic competitions to feed, clothe, and provide safe shelter to those in need. Are you interested in joining the Team? Click here to learn more.

 

CCO Back-to-School Bash 2016!

 

This year’s back-to-school bash encouraged and motivated the children sheltered at CCO with their families. We have a lot of outstanding groups and individuals to thank for such a great event. Thank you to Northeastern Illinois Alumni Association for providing backpacks to all the children at CCO. The kids were smiling from ear to ear as they walked out of the party with their newly-chosen backpack. Thank you!

Thanks to Kuumba Lynx, who once again, infused life and energy into the party. Though music and dance the youth of Kuumba Lynx entertained and uplifted everyone at the event.

Thanks to Scott from Twisticity who created balloon hats, animals, and flowers. The kids loved each creation!

Thank you to Papa John’s Pizza, who provided a deep discount on yummy pizza that the families enjoyed at the back-to-school bash!

Thanks to CircEsteem, who performed fun and amazing feats of circus fun at the party!

Thank you Shirley Richards for sharing from the heart. You motivated the children and the families alike with your personal story and words of encouragement. Thank you!

Thanks to the hard-working volunteer group from Church of the Living God in Traverse City, Michigan. We couldn’t have done it without you helping at each of the stations, applying face paint, handing out prizes, serving pizza, cake, and drinks, and helping with clean up. Thanks!

We want to say a HUGE thank you to River Street Bible Study, Phyllis Weir with the Santa Program, and an anonymous family, who fund raised for each of the children at CCO to choose a new pair of shoes. They will be stepping into the new school year with much-needed shoes. Thanks to all who helped in this way!

Last, but not least, Eve Haycock made the whole event possible. Thanks for your hard work, Eve!

Kicks For Kids!

Back-to-SchoolKicks For Kids!

Over 150 children are sheltered with their families at CCO. Many of them leave CCO each morning and head to school. Will you consider making a generous donation that would allow us to buy a new pair of shoes for each of our school-age children? Help our kids start their school year off right!

Please donate today!

Over 10,000 Pounds of Food!

Thank you to everyone who walked for CCO at this years Greater Chicago Food Depository (GCFD) Hunger Walk. Those who joined us for the Hunger Walk helped to create over 10,000 pounds of food from the GCFD for CCO shelter guests and food pantry patrons.

Each day over 350 men, women, and children are sheltered at CCO. The CCO dining room offers nutritious meals to all our shelter guests. Each week over 150 households visit the CCO Food Pantry to choose from healthy grocery items.

If you weren’t able to join us for the Hunger Walk you can still make a donation that will make a difference for those we shelter. Safe shelter, nutritious meals, and intensive case management services, are a critical part of the services CCO offers to the families and individuals sheltered with us. Consider donating today!

 

Devin’s Eagle Scout Project

Thank you Devin! Devin Escue has been working on a special Eagle Scout Project. Through tireless fundraising Devin has been able to purchase new toys for the CCO Rooftop Playground. The Playground Party was a huge success and the kids were able to try out new hula hoops, balls, bikes, and even a basketball hoop. Devin provided delicious treats and the moms and children had a great time. Thanks again Devin!

Fight Hunger with CCO!

Hunger Walk  2014Join us for the Greater Chicago Food Depository Hunger Walk 5k! Each year walkers at the Hunger Walk provides CCO with a food account with the Food Depository that is used to create nutritious meals for those we shelter and groceries for our food pantry patrons.

This years 5k Hunger Walk will take place on June 25 at Jackson Park in Chicago. Each walker counts! Click here to register and don’t forget to use our agency code A00393 so you’re steps count for CCO and to ensure a free registration.

We hope to see you there!

Happy Birthday to You!

Happy Birthday to You!Happy birthday to you! Joel celebrated his birthday last week at CCO. He and his mother were given new toys, a decorated cake, and party supplies to celebrate his special day. CCO shelters nearly 150 children and each birthday is important. A small network of dedicated volunteers bake cakes, decorate them, and deliver them to CCO for the children living in our shelter. Donors purchase cake mixes, canned icing, candles, and decorations, to make each cake special.

It’s important to have special events and celebrations for the families and individuals we shelter because being homeless is hard difficult. Isn’t it great to think that the children and parents sheltered at CCO will look back on their homeless experience with these bright and special moments?

Good things are happening every day at CCO! Continue to support those we shelter by making a financial donation today!

Are you interested in donating cake mixes, canned icing, cake decorations, party items, birthday gift bags or wrapping paper for birthdays at CCO? If so, please contact Eve at eve@ccolife.org.

Thank you!

Birthday Cakes