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

An Eagle Scout Project with Heart

CCO Vet Dinner 2014 048 - Copy

Devin serving meals at CCO’s Veteran Recognition Dinner.

Devin Escue has been volunteering with his family or Boy Scout Troop at Cornerstone Community Outreach since he was very young. For his Eagle Scout Project, Devin has chosen to raise money for the children at CCO to have new playground toys. We are excited about this project that will bring play, exercise, and childhood development to the children sheltered at CCO. Here is why Devin is focusing on this fun project.

“I am supplying CCO’s kids with toys in order to complete my Eagle Scout Project. I chose the project of raising funds and buying toys for the kids at CCO because I feel that every kid deserves to have something to enjoy, even when living isn’t easy. I want to provide kids with toys in order that they may be able to have the fun they deserve.

I’ve done various kinds of volunteer work with CCO. My family and I have given out Christmas presents at CCO for years. As a Boy Scout, I’ve served Veterans Day dinner at CCO’s Veteran’s Recognition Dinner. Last year, I ran a photo booth for the families at CCO for their Fall Frenzy party. Click here to view the photo gallery. I’ve also helped run a cupcake decorating table. At home, I bake cakes that are given to the children sheltered at CCO on their birthday. On the other hand, I have worked on the dirtier side of CCO by helping clean out their donations basement from unnecessary donations. In that same basement, I’ve bagged up clothes and moved them up to their Free Store, where the residents can come and find clothing.

I care about the homeless. They are just people like me and you who have had a harder time in life. Everyone deserves to live in some amount of comfort and not in a shelter. I volunteer for CCO because I feel that homeless people are just people. They can be funny, happy, serious, or sad, just like us. I care about the homeless because they are just people who need a little help moving forward.”

Click here to go to Devin’s Crowdrise fund raising page. 100% of all donated money will go toward purchasing playground toys, toy storage, and a party of the children sheltered at CCO.

Team CCO Runner Interviewed by ABC7 News!

Ted Jindrich Interview

“I’m running for Cornerstone Community Outreach, it’s a homeless shelter for the city here and I help raise funds for them,” said runner Ted Jindrich.

Team CCO’s very own Ted Jindrich was interviewed by ABC7 News at the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle! Click the image to watch the video clip. Ted is not only a member of Team CCO, he is a long-time supporter and volunteer.

Click here to find out more about Team CCO, what 2016 fitness events are available to you, and how your run can make a difference in the lives of homeless families and individuals.

Ted Jindrich, planting flowers outside CCO.

Congratulations!

Successfully Housed Family!

Congratulations! It is always a joy to see one of the families sheltered at CCO moving from homelessness to housing! Our most recently housed family is pictured here proudly displaying the keys to their new apartment.

In 2015, 42% of CCO’s total shelter population is made up of children age 17 and under. 37% of these are minors age 12 and under. Providing safe shelter and working with the families that come to CCO is a critical part of our mission.

The National Coalition for the Homeless states that the average age of a homeless person in the U.S. is 9 years old. This number challenges a lot of the typical stereotypes that people associate with homelessness in America. Children who are homeless have special needs. Stability through on-going education, proper nutrition, and development through play space, can help lessen the burden of homelessness.

At CCO, we welcome homeless families of all kinds, mothers with children, fathers with children, couples with children, and three-generational families. Case managers compassionately work to assist families with school transfers or transportation, assessments and referrals for children struggling in an emotional or academic area, and assistance with specific challenges that may arise. We are privileged to take part in the successes of our shelter families. Consider making a donation today and be a part of helping to stabilize and strengthen the families sheltered at CCO! Thank you!

Celebrating Success!

Melinda - Naomi House

Homelessness is traumatic, complex, and a unique experience for each individual. Triumphs are often an uphill battle which makes each person’s victory all the more cause for celebration.

Take a moment and read the CCO success statistics from 2015 and rejoice with us as we recognize each victory. Click on the letters below or visit the CCO statistics page.

2015_Annual_Statistics_Cornerstone_Community_Outreach

2015_Annual_Statistics_Cornerstone_Community_Outreach_sm_Page_2

 

Attorney General Says Stop Criminalizing Homeless

Lower Wacker Chicago

“On Monday, the Attorney General issued a stern order to state court officials to stop, forthwith, targeting poor and homeless people and throwing them in jail for being too poor to pay fines for the crime of being too poor to have a place to live.

In the strongly worded letter to court chief justices and administrators, the head of the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division, Vanita Gupta and Lisa Foster of the Office for Access to Justice leveled some harsh criticism against state judicial and law enforcement officials for arresting and jailing the poor as a revenue source. The letter said in part,

“In addition to being unlawful, to the extent that these practices are geared not toward addressing public safety, but rather toward raising revenue, they cast doubt on the impartiality of the tribunal and erode trust between local governments and their constituents.”

To read the full length article click here.

 

Recovering from the Hardships of Homelessness

Sandy Ramsey

“We assist people and work with them as they recover from the hardships of homelessness while helping them restore their God given-worth and self-esteem.”
-Sandra Ramsey, CCO Executive Director

“Sometimes I work late at my desk at the shelter. I can see the security monitor that shows who comes in and out of the door in our shelter foyer. You can see the flow of the foyer lights and through the glass door, the dark of night. It makes the foyer look inviting, welcoming, secure.

I think about the people coming in and going out. An older woman with a purse and several bags rests on the step before opening the door for the walk up a flight of stairs to her bed. She has come from her job, dressed up with make-up and earrings. No one would believe she’s homeless. Health and family problems have taken their toll and now she’s temporarily with us.”

Click here to read the remainder of Sandy’s CCO vignette, We’ll Leave the Light on for you.

Please consider donating to CCO today!

Homeless Vets and Moms with Children

Team CCO
Not a runner? No problem! Click on the Team CCO video above to find out why your support is important. There are so many ways to get involved through volunteer work, donating gently-used items, hosting a fundraiser, or making a personal financial donation. Your involvement improves the day-to-day lives of those we shelter.

Love to run and help others? Team CCO runs for homeless dads with children, moms with children, veterans, and more. Team CCO has six charitable fitness events available for team members in 2016.

Want to guarantee your entry for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon? Charity registration opens March 8th. Click here to join Team CCO and secure your entry for the Chicago Marathon.

Also, registration is now open for all the other Team CCO events. Click here to see all the exciting choices and new events!

Soap, Deodorant, Shampoo, Razors…

Hygiene items

Are you interested in donating new hygiene items to our shelter guests? Many of the families and individual who arrive at CCO lack the basic necessities. Ildevert arrived at CCO and he was without essentials, including clothing, hygiene supplies, and other essentials. Read Ildevert’s incredible story by clicking here.

If you would like to be a part of meeting this on-going need, please drop-off new soap, deodorant, disposable razors, or shampoo at 4628 N. Clifton Avenue. Thank you!

Home for Heroes

Glenn Kaiser

Glenn Kaiser and friends have put together an outstanding recording to benefit Cornerstone Community Outreach. The music was released on February 8, 2016 and 100% of donations will go to providing safe shelter, nutritious meals, and compassionate management services to the men, women, and children residing at CCO.

Here are a few reviews:
“Glenn Kaiser…the revered Chicago bluesman…joined forces to help raise funds for the Cornerstone Community Outreach…this leads to Kaiser’s reflective side shining through but it’s all done without sacrificing the vocal power and passion that has become the singer’s trademark…Kaiser on top form…worthwhile release… 8/10.”
– Crossrhythms (Lins Honeyman)

“I had to check out something new from brother Glenn who I’ve looked up to for 35 years. He’s like a distant pastor to me and a tremendous example to follow…This whole album is like delicious organic fruit. The good stuff without the pesticides of over production and empty lyrics. And it supports a great cause as well…Looking forward to soaking my soul in all of these songs for a while…Five Stars.”
– iTunes Reviewer

Click here to listen to the title track, “Homes for Heroes” and donate and download today!