Team CCO at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon!

Congratulations Team CCO for completing the 2015 Bank of America Chicago Marathon! The Team has trained for the big event and fund raised for the shelter guests at CCO.We’re proud of everyone who “went the distance” to help alleviate homelessness in Chicago! Volunteers at the marathon had a great time and helped make the Team CCO charity tent special!

It’s not too late to support the Team.

Go to Enjoy the photo album!

Want to learn more about charitable fitness? Visit our Team CCO page.

A Flood of Volunteers

The water just kept pouring in as we were hit hard by a torrential summer storm a few weeks ago. Youth Works June 2015

After salvaging what donations we could we began the daunting task of sorting through mounds clothing that had been sitting in over 5 inches of water before they began to mildew. Luckily, our first YouthWorks group of the summer arrived that day eager to help in any way possible. Armed with gloves and trash bags they sorted and transported over 200 bags of clothing and completely cleared out our clothing donation room in just 4 days! It’s been years since we’ve seen bare floors in this space and we would like to thank our YouthWorks volunteers from West-side Christian Church, Cambridge Lutheran Church and Maple Plain Community Church for the flood of assistance they provided. Without their help much of the donated clothing would have been lost to water damage meaning that our Free Thrift Store racks would have been quite bare this summer. Thank you so much for your hard work and willingness to serve YouthWorks!

Merrell Down & Dirty Obstacle Race


This weekend five members of Team CCO will be testing their endurance at the Merrell Down & Dirty Obstacle Race. For a glimpse at what the team is willing to withstand to raise money and awareness for CCO and our homeless shelter guests, watch this YouTube video. The Heavy Hoist, Monster Climb, Mud Pit, Terrible Tires, Rock Wall, and Sand Bag Haul, are just a few of the 20+ obstacles awaiting the team on Sunday.

Help these guys reach their goal! The team set a fundraising goal of $3,000. Help them reach their goal by donating toward their race. Thank you!

Team CCO at the Shuffle Expo!

Team CCO -Andrew

Check out the Team CCO booth at the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K Expo! If you’re headed to the Expo don’t forget to stop by our booth and learn more about how Team CCO is helping to alleviate hunger and homelessness in Chicago!

The Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8k is this Sunday. It’s not too late to make a financial donation. Visit CrowdRise to choose a Team CCO runner and make a donation that will help alleviate homelessness and hunger in Chicago. Thank you!

Special thanks to nine3nine Creative for the awesome design and setup!

Sweet Baby Blankets!

Baby Blankets

CCO would like to say a special thank you to one our wonderful donors who has made beautiful baby blankets for the infants who stay at CCO with their families. Every blanket comes with a card. It is such as sweet and personal gift.

Families come to CCO with newborns often. Culturally, we don’t usually associate homelessness with infants but many our of shelter guests have babies while staying with us or come to CCO with newborns, toddlers, and children of all ages. Families who are homeless have special challenges and we are glad to meet those challenges with them.

Join us in providing safe shelter, nutritious meals, and compassionate case management services to homeless families. Consider making a donation today!

Thank you!

Hunger & Food Assistance

CCO Food Pantry

In the 1960’s John F. Kennedy brought the issue of hunger and poverty to the forefront of American politics. He did so by reestablishing the Food Stamp Program that had begun several decades before. This government subsidized program has gone through several changes since its inception. In 2008, the Food Stamp Program became known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). This program has assisted hungry families and individuals throughout America to purchase nutritious foods from participating stores. Food assistance is offered to people at or below the poverty line.

In recent years these vital programs have been significantly reduced. In 2013, the federal government reduced the SNAP program by 5%. This may seem like a small reduction, but studies conducted by Feed America and the Greater Chicago Food Depository (GCFD) reflect a significant number of families and individuals who visit food pantries in order to pay for necessities, such as, medication, transportation, school, and utilities. We have found this to be true among our pantry attendees at CCO.

Food assistance for many people is a homeless prevention program. Meaning that a growing number of folks need consistent on-going food assistance in order to pay rent or cover the very basics of life. CCO’s food pantry program is one of our longest running services. We are grateful to be a positive help to our neighbors in need. Our weekly pantry is filled with nutritious foods, including fresh produce, from the Greater Chicago Food Depository. The pantry is entirely staffed by faithful, hard working volunteers, some of attended the pantry in past years.

The food items and work force are provided without charge but we do have utility and security expenses. Consider donating today! Be a part of the good things that are happening every day at CCO!

Thank you!

CeaseFire, Critical Violence Prevention


Treating the contagion of violence. — CeaseFire

CeaseFire, is a global organization that works to reduce or interrupt violence, focus on high-risk areas, and create change through building relationships. CCO has welcomed Cure Violence staff into our shelter. They’ve conducted workshops and talked individually with our shelter guests about violence prevention. Their work has had an outstanding and unparalleled impact on our shelter guests and our surrounding neighborhood.

Recently, we found out that Illinois funding for CeaseFire programs has stopped. This is a devastating blow to an organization who’s sole purpose is community safety, improvement, and support. Organizations like CeaseFire create healthier communities and safer neighborhoods through violence prevention.

CeaseFire began their first program in the West Garfield Park neighborhood of Chicago. They witnessed at 67% drop in gun violence and deaths. The program was then duplicated in four more neighborhoods. In those neighborhoods gun violence was reduced by 42%. CeaseFire has been active in 18 Chicago neighborhoods. The loss of their funding will cripple peace keeping efforts in our neighborhoods and increase gun violence and death.

To learn more about CeaseFire go to their website by clicking here.

Find out more about their award-winning documentary, The Interrupters.

Gary Slutkin, M.D., Professor of Epidemiology and International Health at the University of Illinois/ Chicago School of Public Health, is the original founder of CeaseFire. To learn more about his approach to violence watch his TedTalk, “Can Violence Be Cured?”

View CeaseFire testimonials here.


Naomi House Renovation!

Thank you Tourism Toronto for beautifully renovating the bathroom for the single women sheltered at CCO’s Naomi House program! You’re work is an improvement and encouragement. What a transformation! Thank you!

Giving Tuesday


Have you heard of Giving Tuesday? Learn more about creative ways you can give on December 2nd. “It’s a simple idea. Just find a way for your family, your community, your company or your organization to come together to give something more.”

Consider GIVING to CCO on Giving Tuesday!


Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving Greeting

Happy Thanksgiving!

“We are so thankful!” This may be a surprising comment to hear from someone who is homeless and living in a shelter over the Holiday Season. The truth is, we hear it often. This statement and others like it are examples of the sincerity, resilience and determination of our shelter guests. We are grateful to see them rise up each day and try to take steps toward self-sufficiency and stable housing. We are grateful to be able to help our shelter guests in their journey and we are grateful to you, our donors, for giving us the support we need to carry on with this critical work.

Please consider donating today. Thank you!