24 Residents Get Birth Certificates!

So far this month; We’ve had the privilege of helping 24 people get their birth certificates.

This initial step is significant in assisting people to move from homelessness to housed, employed and self-sufficiency.

On average, each month about 20-30 of our residents get much needed identification.

Epworth Shelter History, Part One…

Epworth Shelter, mats in the gym“In the dead of winter, 65 homeless men were left to wonder if they would continue to have their beds.”
Cornerstone Community Outreach Executive Director, Sandra Jean Ramsey, has written extensively about the history and day-to-day activities of our various shelters and shelter residents. Take a minute to read her thoughts on the opening of CCO’s Epworth Shelter for single men.

Follow this link to read, “Epworth Chronicles: Part 1”


Heart and Mind

Binbal Chungkham poem imageHeart and Mind
When the mind conquers our heart,
without loosing its compassion.
The gentle mother earth teems with flowers,
each blooms to their fullest beauties.
And the whole world wakes up
with oneness and peace.
But when the heart captivates the mind,
our little life boat floats to the rhythm of our heart.
Unseen and unknown, it rises and falls.
It floats on its fantasy,
yet in this sea of happiness
there is still waves of sorrow and suspicion.
– B. Chungkham
(homeless Uptown resident)

Celebrate Older Americans Month With CCO!

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.”

We are privileged to know and work with many aging and elderly people at CCO. We are enriched by their wisdom and experience.

Green Festival Chicago 2012!

Green Festival Chicago was a huge success this year! We are grateful to New Life For Old Bags (NLOB) for including CCO staff in a panel discussion about the environment and community action.
NLOB founder Ruth Werstler discussed the process of making plastic mats for homeless people, particularly people sleeping outside. Plastic grocery bags are made into strips of “plarn” and crocheted into usable, lightweight mats. Ruth also shared how widespread the program has become. Children as young as second graders cut the bags into strips while senior citizens (some over 100) croquet the strips into mats.
Sandra Ramsey, Executive Director of CCO and Jeremy Nicholls, CCO case manager, also discussed the on-going needs for the mats and the plight of the homeless in Chicago. Muriwai Nicholls, Jeremy Nicholls daughter, also joined him on stage. She has gone out with her dad on numerous occasions to the Chicago lakefront to distribute the mats.
Also, speaking was Mary Moy who impressed on the audience the need to do more for the environment and people with less resources. And Scott Glumm shared some amazing statistics about homelessness and the effects of plastic on the environment. Mr. Glumm finished his speech with an inspiring story about doing small things to create a greater good. We will post it here, on our website, soon.
We are grateful to work along side an organization like New Life For Old Bags!

Indie In The Windy City!

Indie in the Windy City contributed nearly $100 to Cornerstone Community Outreach this year! We enjoyed the fun and creative event and we are looking forward to next time! CCO would like to say a special thank you to the wonderful women who organized this event and included Cornerstone in the earnings. Thank you!