Valentine’s Day Success!

Valentine's Day Success

Congratulations to Brooke, who moved out of CCO’s Naomi House shelter for single women and into her very own apartment on Valentine’s Day! We’re proud of you, Brooke!

Help us continue to provide safe shelter, nutritious meals and vital case management services to CCO’s shelter guests. Your donation makes a difference!

Please donate today!

Thank you!

Our Mission

 

Housing Success

Our Mission:

Addressing homelessness, providing shelter, accepting people, finding home.

“Finding home” is the moment when housing happens for a homeless person. We are proud of our shelter guests and case managers that work to find a place for everyone. It is pure joy to see someone with new apartment keys and a big smile.

Join us in our effort to bridge the gap between homelessness and home. Help us “Find Home” for our shelter guests. Donate Today!

Cornerstone Helped Me

Ildevert, pictured here with Francke Moukiama, CCO staff member.

Ildevert, pictured here with Francke Moukiama, CCO staff member.

“To live under a dictator is like slavery. There is no justice. There is no peace. It is not a free country.” Over fifty years of living under a Congolese dictatorship was long enough for Ildevert Mboungou. In the Congo, Ildevert worked as a chef for the employees of a major oil company. When it was found out that he was a supporter of the Democratic party the dictatorship that ruled and mistreated the Congolese people for decades began to severely abuse him. Ildevert was forced to leave his employment, his home, and all he knew. He had to escape his homeland and flee to America.

“I flew directly to Chicago. I did not know anyone. I was alone and deeply sad. I was living in the el train station and a man approached me and spoke my language. He told me that he knew where I could get help and he brought me to CCO (Cornerstone Community Outreach). I don’t know who he was.” Homeless shelters do not exist in the Congo and Ildevert was not aware that help was available or how to find it. This kind stranger took him from being isolated and living outside, to CCO where he could find a sense of community, support, and help for the future.

“I came to CCO with only a plastic bag that held my Bible, documents, passport and coat. That is all I had but I was happy to find shelter. I met Franke, Andre and Jeremy and they made me feel welcome. I was able to have meals, clothes, showers, and a bed. I am no longer alone and outside. Coming to the shelter was extraordinary!”

Almost immediately, Ildevert told staff that he would like to volunteer in the kitchen. “Cornerstone helped me, I want to help Cornerstone.” His culinary skills have been put to good use and he does a magnificent job and among CCO’s shelter guests Ildevert has found friends. One friend helps him practice the english language and is a great source of encouragement.

Today, Ildevert’s time is filled and he does more than volunteer for CCO. He is taking a course at Truman College for English as a second-language. He has begun training to get a certificate in Food Service at Inspiration Corporation. He is an active volunteer at the Kolver Center for survivors of politically-sanctioned torture. We rejoiced with Ildevert when he received his political asylum certificate from the United States government. And we look forward to seeing great things from this humble, grateful and generous man. “I prayed and God remembered me and brought me up from my low place.”

– Ildevert Mboungou, as told to Beth Nicholls and translated by Francke Moukiama

 

 

A King In His Castle!

Eliud

 

Today we are congratulating Eliud! A former CCO resident, Eliud has been successfully (and happily) housed for over 4 months. He told us he feels like a king in his very own castle! Clearly, he’s overjoyed with his studio apartment and we are happy to have him stop by for a visit.

Your donation makes a world of difference for people who need temporary shelter to get back to on their feet. You can donate by clicking on the Donate Now button below.
DonateNow

“We Stuck Together!”

nine3nine Creative

“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.

Holiday Parties for our Single Residents!

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 We can’t forget about our single shelter residents at this time of year! It can be especially challenging to be on your own for the holidays. That’s why CCO, along with our generous volunteers and donors, have had several great events for the residents of our Naomi House and Epworth shelter programs. We want to thank Elkgrove Calvary Chapel for serving delicious holiday treats while passing out new backpacks, socks and winter wear for our single shelter residents! Thank you!

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!

 


DonateNow

“Count Mine As One Life Saved…”

Lauren photo

“I am so grateful for what was so freely given to me through your program. My spirit was nearly dead when I came through those doors and now I am a vibrant, fully productive member of society again. I could not have done it without you and your program. Count mine as one life saved and a living example of how important your work is!”

-Lanette* (name changed for confidentiality purposes)

Lanette has done great things since coming to CCO’s Naomi House Shelter for single women. She has found work and looks forward to having her own apartment soon. It has been wonderful to watch her efforts and success!

Each day the work continues. People like Lanette turn to CCO when they have nowhere else to go. It is a joy to see our residents pressing on against all odds to recover from the hardships of homelessness.

Thank you for joining us in supporting every homeless individual and family that comes through our doors. Thank you!
DonateNow

Naomi House Birthday Bingo Bash!

 

Are you interested in donating items for the Naomi House Birthday Bingo Bash? Naomi House is CCO’s shelter for single women. We would like our birthday girls to feel special and remembered! For this party the ladies are requesting root beer floats. If you would like to provide ice cream, root beer or gift items toward this event send an e-mail with your contact information to bnicholls@ccolife.org. Thank you!