If you are homeless or in need of immediate assistance please call 311, go to your nearest Hospital or Police and Fire Station.

Cornerstone Community Outreach offers shelter and services to homeless and low-income families and individuals through a variety of programs:

CCO Shelter Programs for Homeless Families

CCO Shelter Programs for Homeless Individuals

CCO Senior Services

CCO Services for Our Residents

CCO Services for Our Neighbors


FAQ/Studies from the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless

Frequently Asked Questions About Homelessness

How many homeless people live in Chicago?

A July 2012 analysis by CCH shows 105,338 Chicagoans were homeless in the course of the 2011-12 school year. This is 12% more than the 93,780 who were homeless a year earlier. The total is based, in part, on the rising enrollment of homeless students in Chicago Public Schools (CPS), which includes those who are doubled-up in the homes of others because of hardship, according to Policy Director Julie Dworkin.

CPS identified a record 17,255 homeless students in 2011-12, a 10.7% increase from the prior year’s record.  Of this, 98.4% were children of color and 18% have been diagnosed with disabilities or development delays. The homeless enrollment included 3,005 unaccompanied youth.

In the U.S. Conference of Mayors Hunger & Homelessness Survey for 2011 (released Dec. 15, 2011), Chicago officials claimed that  homelessness decreased 2% during the year-long survey period. Nationally, however, the 29-city survey found homelessness increased an average of 6%, with family homelessness rising an average of 16%.

How many homeless people live in Illinois?

CCH cannot prepare a statewide estimate using the methodology with which we prepare the Chicago estimate. But based on an annual report by the Illinois Department of Human Services, about 48,000 people are served in state-funded shelters each year.

The Illinois State Board of Education says public schools identified 42,800 homeless students across Illinois in the 2010-11 school year; more current data is pending. This was an increase of 22% from the 33,367 homeless pupils identified the prior school year, 2009-10, and 62% more than two years ago, when 26,688 homeless children were counted in 2008-09. Homeless school enrollment is a reliable barometer of family homelessness.

McKinney-Vento homeless assistance programs counted 57,529 homeless children in Illinois in 2010, according to a December 2011 study by the National Center on Family Homelessness. This is a 4-year increase of 88%, with 30,636 homeless Illinois children counted in 2006. The study, called America’s Youngest Outcasts 2010, said Illinois ranked 29th among the 50 states in the extent of homelessness. Nationally, there were 1.6 million homeless children, equivalent to 1 in 45 children living homeless in the U.S.

What are the demographics of Chicagoans experiencing homelessness?

Per the 2011-12 CCH analysis, families made up 48.6% of Chicago’s homeless population. There were 35,625 children (33.8%) and 15,557 parents or grandparents (14.8%).

Unaccompanied youth (ages 14 to 21) made up another 10.4%, or 10,995 youths.

Single adults made up 41%, or 43,161 men and women.

How many unaccompanied youth lived in Chicago? 

Unaccompanied youth are teens who are homeless and living on their own, without the support of family or guardian.

CCH estimates that 10,995 youth (ages 14 to 21) made up 10.4% percent of Chicago’ s homeless population in 2011-12. Of this, the Chicago school system counted 3,005 unaccompanied youth living on their own and attending its schools.

An estimated 25,000 unaccompanied youth live in Illinois, per a comprehensive 2005 state-run study on which CCH collaborated. There are not nearly enough shelter beds for homeless youth.  In 2012, there are 473 youth beds across Illinois – 266 youth beds in Chicago, 117 in the suburbs, and 90 beds downstate.

What are some demographics of homeless people being served by Chicago shelters and housing programs?

For the U.S. Conference of Mayors 2010 Survey on Hunger & Homelessness, the city of Chicago reported in 2011 that 14% were employed but homeless, 10% were veterans, 15% were physically disabled, 4% were HIV positive, and 20% were severely mentally ill.

In 2011, Chicago also reported having 2,379 emergency shelter beds, 2,334 transitional housing slots, and 9,109 permanent supportive housing slots.

How many homeless people are survivors of domestic violence?
In a comprehensive 2004 study, 56% of women in homeless shelters reported that they had experienced domestic violence, according to the Center for Impact Research. Also, 36% said they had experienced physical or sexual abuse in their homes as children, according to the report, Pathways To and From Homelessness: Women and Children in Chicago Shelters.

What is the racial breakdown of homeless people in Chicago?
According to a 2007 point-in-time count by the city of Chicago, the racial demographic of the homeless population was 75% African American, 16% white, 6% Latino, and 3% other ethnicity. Racial demographics were not included in the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ 2011 survey.