Christmas, families, and you.

Christmas went great.  My favorite moments are seeing a former resident
of the shelter coming by to pick up presents for their kids.  One mom
in particular was waiting for Eve,  when her younger son excitedly
yelled out my name.  He remembers me because his dad and I have
the same first name. 

They have an apartment in the city, the dad is
employed, but with just enough money for the cost of living, they asked
if we could help with presents for the kids.  Yes of course, was our

The kids were beaming when they saw the size of bag that their
presents were in.  They hauled it off, and I said goodbye.  Not sure
when I will see them again, but they are former residents, fond
memories, and family, in a way that only comes with surviving

Your help, your donations, your thoughts and prayers this
season, made it possible.

Thanks so much.


In from the Cold, Warming Center’s are warm and safe.

Today, together, we meet one of the most basic human needs.  Shelter.

With temperatures plummeting to -3°F, but feeling like -30°F with wind chill, it is dangerous not to have a place to be.

When the weather is as extreme as this, CCO opens its doors to serve as a Warming Center, “…where any resident can go during periods of extreme cold temperatures to stay warm and safe.”

Though the majority of people who are homeless are able to find a place at night, many shelters for single women and men do not have the ability to operate during the day, even on days like today.

If you know someone in need, and are near us, drop by or call us at 773-271-8163.  If not, then call or have them call 311 in Chicago, or go to the City of Chicago website for addresses and phone numbers.

Please keep those who are homeless in your thoughts or prayers this Holiday Season.

Christmas Presents delivered, hearts touched.

Santa came to town, stopped by on Clifton Avenue, and brought some help.

This morning, December 20, 2008, a group of families from  Jesus People USA Covenant Church (JPUSA), helped in giving out the Christmas presents to the residents of CCO shelters.

One of the kids who was helping pass out the presents said…

“There was this really cute baby girl with awesome hair that came with a mother and picked up their gifts. … I got to go upstairs and see where they stayed.  Their room was set up nice and with lots of room.  …One of the kids just ran up and hugged Andrea, it was really cute.”

Of the 400 people who received gifts, more than half of those are children.  The children each received six presents, many received hat and mitten sets, and stocking stuffers.  One helper said that probably 1500 gifts were given out.

Like we said on the Facebook “Christmas for Everyone” event,

“Living in a shelter, not having your own tree or decorations, not your own home, doesn’t mean that you don’t deserve the best. So we try to bless the socks off of everyone.”

Thanks to everyone who made this possible. You rock.

Christmas wrapping, done up!

Last night 25 or more people were spreading Christmas spirit and wrapping gifts.

Everyone who stays at the homeless shelter is going to receive many awesome gifts.  Presents for the kids and adults at CCO needed to be wrapped in preperation of Saturday’s “Santa” present giving.  With a goal of 4 or more presents per young kid, or a CD player or Mp3 for each teenager, they succeeded!  The gifts came from all over, individuals, families, groups, foundations, you!

Parents and adults also received VISA gift cards that they can spend where most needed.  Thanks to Weston Solutions, they received greater value cards than last year.

Tomorrow morning, volunteers and staff are going to distribute the gifts to everyone.  Thanks to Eve, Lyda, and everyone who came out.  You were all amazing.

Happy Holiday.

The Cornerstone Community Outreach Blog

Welcome to our new CCO blog. Feel free to register and share your stories, photos and videos about your service here. If you have any questions feel free to contact any of the administrators we will be glad to assist you. As you know the Homeless shelter is in much need and would be very grateful for your help in meeting the needs.