Veteran Success After 30 Years Homeless

Success
In early 2013, Tommy, a senior citizen and Vietnam Veteran, wandered into our place. He’d been homeless for 30 years! Yes, that’s not a misprint; Tommy had been homeless in Chicago for 30 long years. For 30 long years, he’d been rotating in and out shelters and uninhabitable places! He lives in this massive city, without income and without health insurance! For 30 years, Tommy had been an invisible man in the hustle and bustle of never-ending crowds!

Tommy is an extremely unassuming and polite man! He is drug-free, alcohol-free and felony-free. He doesn’t want to bother anyone. He’s happy to quietly sit and I’ve never heard him complain! (I’m complaining for him) He just lives “day-by-day”, accepting his “homeless fate”. When he wandered into Cornerstone, he didn’t come yelling or demanding answers, he was just expecting CCO to be part of his journey, he was expecting CCO to be just another place to lay his weary bones! But, we had other plans, so we drew this information out of him…..

And upon hearing this American tragedy, we knew we had to be the answer. We also knew it rested upon our shoulders to help turn his tale of despair into a story of hope!

This is a little shout-out to a couple of my fellow case-managers (Andre and Franck); through some amazing displays of dedication and love, Tommy’s story has changed! Tommy trusts us! Tommy knows we care! Tommy needed direction in trying to navigate through a complicated system that is wrapped in a lot of “red tape”. Tommy needed people to advocate for him. He needed people willing to do a lot of leg work for him. Results started happening when we personally took him to the Veterans Administration, Social Security and other places. Results started happening when we became his voice and made a bunch of phone calls on his behalf! Tommy is now getting helped medically by the VA and he’s on the tedious path toward finally getting the financial assistance he deserves.

We didn’t just say, “Hey Tommy: Do this; GO”. We went with him! We spoke for him! We made sure he was seen! We made sure Tommy was “invisible-no-more”! Through these efforts, Tommy got his HUD VASH (Veterans Administration Supportive Housing) voucher.

Tommy’s tragic tale has resurrected into a source of hope!
After his long and tedious journey, Tommy successfully moved into his own apartment in early 2014! He is now getting the support, medical care and financial assistance he earned and deserves.

-Jeremy Nicholls, CCO Men’s Program Supervisor

Veterans Day last year was just another night in a shelter for Tommy. Through compassionate support and intensive case management, Tommy has now been housed in his own apartment for nearly one year!

Five Families Housed!

CCO Family

Recently, five families sheltered at CCO moved into permanent housing! We are proud to see the determination of our shelter guests and the assistance and support of our case management team in reaching this excellent goal!

CCO provides shelter for families of all descriptions. Unusual family arrangements often have difficulty finding shelter space. Fathers with children struggle to find shelter placement. CCO welcome dads with kids and has been a part of their amazing success stories. To read Lydell’s success story click here.

Safe shelter, nutritious meals and intensive case management services matter in the lives of homeless men, women and children. Help us continue to serve Chicago’s most vulnerable population. Consider donating today!

Thank you!

Make Dine Out Plans!

CCO Dine OutMake plans to dine out tomorrow! CCO is hosting its first ever dinner fund raising event. “An Extra Helping for the Homeless” is a fun way to support homeless services and help alleviate hunger in Chicago. Tomorrow, July 22 participating Chicago restaurants will be donating 5-25% of their meal tabs to CCO. This will be at no added cost to the diner.

Check out the list of participating restaurants here. Please note that Giordano’s and Lou Malnati’s require you to bring a flier. The link to the flier can be found next to the store logo or click here for Giordano’s Flier or here for Lou Malnati’s Flier. Just print and dine!

Thanks for supporting CCO in this new and exciting way!

Homeless to Housed and Employed!

Congratulations Robert, Peaches, Patricia and family! The staff, volunteers, and residents of CCO never get weary of seeing CCO shelter guests proudly displaying their new apartment keys. Not only did the three pictured here get housed, they also obtained employment while being sheltered at CCO!

In 2013, 69% of CCO’s new shelter guests informed staff at intake that they had no income. For many homeless people CCO is the first step in a long climb out of homelessness and into stable housing. With no income these efforts can take additional time.

We are privileged to take these steps with our shelter guests and rejoice with them when employment, housing, and many other stabilizing milestones are reached. Good things are happening at CCO!

Join us in this vital work by donating today. Thank you!

 

 

Encouraging Words

CCO Awning

“I lived here in 2002, they help get my life back on track when I became homeless and needed a helping hand. This is a wonderful organization who really gives back to the homeless!!!!”

-Victoria

Thanks for the kind words, Victoria! It is our privilege to know you and everyone who comes through our doors. All the best!

Follow Us On Facebook

Facebook Logo

Follow Cornerstone Community Outreach (CCO) on Facebook! On our Facebook page you will get current success stories and hear about the good things that are happening at CCO. On Facebook you can choose to like, share or comment on a post.

Visit our page by clicking here and click the “Like” button at the top of the page. Now, each time we post on Facebook you will get the information sent to your wall.

Hope to see you there!

 

Homeless to Housed!

Robert Success

Great job, Robert! It’s good to see you with your new apartment keys. Congratulations!

CCO’s Shelter for Men provides bed space for 65 men each night. During the day men in the shelter program are offered intensive case management services, meals, on-site medical and mental health services, and a variety of services that meet the complex needs of each individual. Our goal is always stable, permanent housing.  And it is our privilege to see our shelter guests move from homeless to housed! Join us in our efforts to provide safe, beneficial shelter. Donate Today!

Congratulations Collins Family

Collins Family

Congratulations Collins Family!

Patricia, Rodney (not pictured) and their two beautiful boys are moving from CCO’s Sylvia Center Family Shelter into permanent housing this week. We have been privileged to get to know you and look forward to staying in touch!

Bridging the gap between homelessness and housing is critical in the lives of many families and individuals. CCO provides safe shelter to families and works with them to secure training, employment or other funds that make permanent, stable housing possible. Join us in our efforts. Donate today!

Rest In Peace

Humberto

Rest in peace, Humberto. You are loved and missed. CCO staff, volunteers and shelter guests have been blessed to know you.

“The grace and humility of Humberto affected all of us. As we’d play dominoes together, I see how his quiet gentleness and contagious smile would bless all those surrounded him. People wanted to assist him, by doing things for him, like getting him meals. Even though he was unable to communicate with most of us through words, his generous actions and gentle demeanor ensured he found plenty of family and friendship within our walls.”

– Jeremy Nicholls, CCO staff member

Great News!

Successfully Housed

It’s great to see Arturo in his brand new apartment! Congratulations!

It’s been an exciting week at CCO. Several of our single shelter guests have moved into permanent, stable housing. Five people found employment and two families moved into apartments this week from our family programs. We are grateful for all the success!

Your donations make these successful moves possible. Please donate today!

Thank you!