Thank You Vaughn Occupational High School!

Vaughn Occupation High School

CCO wants to give a big thanks to the outstanding students and teachers from Vaughn Occupational High School! Every Wednesday Vaughn students come to the CCO Food Pantry to help give out nutritious food. They always have a smile for everyone who comes through the door. You guys are the best! Thanks!

The CCO Food Pantry gives out over 150 bags of nutritious food each week. The vast majority of pantry attendees are senior citizens who rely on pantry groceries to make it from month to month.

Are you interested in volunteering at CCO? We rely on our valuable volunteers to prep meals, serve food, clean, distribute food at our pantry, and do many other important tasks. Click here if you would like to find out more about volunteering at CCO.

“I Give Back”

Northwestern U
This Saturday, May 16th Cornerstone had the pleasure of participating in Northwestern University’s Day of Service. Their slogan for the day was “I give back” and that is exactly what they did. This group of 22 students paid no heed to the oppressive humidity or warm temperatures as they gave their all at sorting mounds of clothing donations.
Five flights of stairs to the Free Store? No problem. In two and a half hours this group sorted, labeled and transported 103 boxes and bags of clothing, shoes and accessories, filled 3 bins for clothing recycling, and effectively blew one Volunteer Coordinator’s expectations out of the water. These rockstars of service accomplished in just a few short hours what would have taken staff members weeks to accomplish on their own. Thank you Northwestern University for choosing to serve at Cornerstone Community Outreach with such an exceptional team of volunteers!
– Sarah Wright,
Cornerstone Volunteer Coordinator

Children & Homelessness

CCO Children

Using data from the US Census and Public School records, the National Center on Family Homelessness reports that nearly 2.5 million American children experienced homelessness in 2013. That is 1 in 30 children. At CCO, we are grateful to be able to offer safe shelter to children with their parents and help them work towards a stable future.

While staying at CCO our school age children attend free after-school tutoring through Chicago Hopes. Back to school events and holiday parties make our kids feel special and cared for. One of our valuable volunteers delivers a birthday party to the shelter when it’s one of the children’s birthdays. She finds out what kind of cake the child likes and makes it. She wraps new gifts from the donations we receive. It’s great to think that kids will look back at their time of homelessness and also have these special memories. And, of course, compassionately supporting and assisting parents throughout their homeless experience at CCO has a lasting impact on the lives of their children.

Join us in this important effort. Consider donating today! Thank you!

To read the full report by the National Center on Family Homelessness click here.

The Living News : Shelter / Chicago

THE LIVING NEWS: SHELTER

The Living News: Shelter / Chicago is a dynamic living newspaper that examines the stories about homelessness and homeless people in Chicago.

“Artists and journalists are working with policy-makers, social workers, and homeless men, women and children, to create THE LIVING NEWS: SHELTER — a play that propels citizens to examine the complicated terrain between flashy headline news and the often invisible worlds of those living homeless on American streets.”

Click here to be redirected for THE LIVING NEWS: SHELTER/ CHICAGO website.

Winter At CCO

Winter at CCO

One kind word can warm three winter months.

~Japanese Proverb

Winter has been here for a while and it doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere soon. The snow, ice and plunging temperature makes daily routines challenging. More than 100 children bundle up each morning and walk down the snowy sidewalks to school. Adult shelter guests make their way to important appointments, training programs and precious employment even when the weather poses an additional obstacle.

CCO case managers and support staff work each day to try to bridge the gap between homelessness and housing for everyone who comes through our doors. We’re proud of our shelter guests and the effort and determination that they bring to the many challenges they face.

Help us continue the valuable work of providing safe shelter, warm meals and vital case management services to our shelter guests. Donate or volunteer today! Thank you!

New Shoes from Senator Steans!

New shoes for the first day of school! We are deeply grateful to Senator Heather Steans for purchasing brand new back-to-school shoes for each of the children at CCO! Students and their parents were excited to begin the new year in style. Thanks again, Senator Steans!

Back-to-School Bash!

CCO’s Back-to-School Bash was a huge success! Many CCO staff and volunteers worked hard to make the event fun and motivating for our families.

Once again the Cat in the Hat MC’ed the festivities and gave away some Dr. Seuss books. Eddie Bocanegra from the documentary, The Interrupters, encouraged everyone to pursue their dreams no matter what obstacles they encounter. His words were encouraging and inspiring. We enjoyed the performance art provided by Kuumba Lynx, a local youth movement that brings dance, poetry and positive motivation to their audiences. Northeastern Illinois University Alumni Association not only gave away new backpacks but have been gathering and shopping for them for weeks! Thank you! The face painting station was packed with excited children. Every school aged child chose a gift from the toy give away table. We were glad to see 46th Ward Alderman, James Cappelman attending the event and joining in on the fun.

Three hundred delicious Ann Sather’s sandwiches were provided by Alderman Tom Tunney for families to enjoy. Representative Jan Schkowsky provided the funds to purchase Pizza Hut pizza’s for our shelter guests and Tony, Store Manager for Lawrence Pizza Hut donated 20 more! Once again, Senator Heather Stearns generously donated money to purchase shoes for everyone of CCO’s school age children! The Wilson Yard Target provided CCO with bottled water and juice boxes for the event.

We want to say a special thank you to all our volunteers. The First Romanian Baptist Church of Chicago’s Outbreak graciously helped serve treats at this years event. Volunteers from Jesus People USA Evangelical Covenant Church distributed toys and ran the face painting station.

So many wonderful donors and volunteers worked together to make this Back-to-School Bash the very best yet! Thank you so much!

Back-to-School

Back-to-SchoolChildren everywhere are gearing up for a new school year. At CCO we shelter over 100 children with their parents. Next week CCO will host a Back-to-School bash that will include pizza, sandwiches,homemade treats, the amazing dance group, Kuumba Lynx and Eddie Bocanegra, our inspirational speaker from the documentary, The Interrupters. Be sure to check back next week to view this years photo album!

Summer Fun!

Children's ProgramsWe are looking forward to a summer filled with great activities for the children sheltered at CCO! Crafts, snacks, reading and plenty of playtime is being organized for the upcoming break from school.

Check back throughout the summer for more fun photos and info!

Chicago HOPES!

chicagoHopesChicago HOPES provides after-school homework help, skills building, and enrichment programming to Chicago Public Schools students living in homeless shelters.

Take a moment and watch this informative and insightful video clip about the importance of education in the life of a homeless child.

Watch it here