Essential Identification in 2013


Last year, we assisted 284 men, women and children get their birth certificates…

This is an essential part of anyone’s journey from homelessness to housed; and we’re happy to say, simply having this document ensured that many of our participants eventually moved into permanent housing.

Resolve to Fight Poverty

Hunger & Homelessness Awareness

This week is National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week. How will you resolve to fight poverty in your community? Join CCO or your local non-profit to fight hunger and homelessness. Your efforts count.

Click here to read a CCO success story.

Click here if you want to learn more about volunteering at CCO.

Click here if you would like to donate to the work of CCO.

Thank you!

Provide Shelter

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Providing shelter is important. This image reflects that truth. What you don’t see in this photo are the two people sleeping behind the plywood structure, one of them requiring a wheelchair for mobility. It shouldn’t be this way. Shelters are a critical part of breaking the chain of homelessness. You’re donations provide shelter. To donate to CCO click on the ‘Donate Now’ button on the right. Thank you!

“I’m in heaven!”

Jeremy & Solomon

Solomon with Jeremy Nicholls, CCO staff member.

Some of you may remember Solomon, who successfully moved from CCO into his own place in June. This is what he had to say about his apartment at Friendly Towers. “I’m in heaven! I paid my rent on the first of the month. It is such a nice place. I love it!” Solomon expressed how grateful he is to the CCO staff that worked with him while he was homeless and the staff of Friendly Towers. His energy, gratitude and relentless smile is a great encouragement to us all!

If the plight of homeless senior citizens is close to your heart consider donating today. CCO offers shelter to senior citizens and collaborates with agencies and affordable housing sites all over Chicago to secure housing for our most vulnerable populations.


Cornerstone Community Outreach is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and all donations are 100% tax deductible. If you prefer to make a donation by check, it should be made payable to Cornerstone Community Outreach and mailed to the following address:

Cornerstone Community Outreach
Attn: Accounting Office
4615 N. Clifton Ave
Chicago, IL 60640

Friendly Towers


Several elderly or aging CCO shelter guests have recently found housing at the Friendly Towers senior housing program. With supportive services, healthy meals, inter-generational living, an on-site medical clinic and access to a beautiful outdoor garden, we rejoice with them and know that they are in good hands.

Find out more about CCO’s partnership with Friendly Towers.  We are privileged to work with such a reputable housing program and admire the value of their work.

Homelessness & Education

Homeless to Housed

Over 100 school age children reside with their parents at Cornerstone Community Outreach. Elementary and high school students alike have breakfast, put on their backpacks and head to school from CCO. The National Coalition for the Homeless states that education is one of the most stabilizing factors in the life of a homeless child. We agree.

During their stay at CCO, many families choose to have their children continue to attend their school of origin but some choose to enroll their children in area schools. Case managers work with parents to make school transitions as smooth as possible. We are fortunate to have Chicago HOPES provide students with after-school homework help, skill building and personal enrichment services on-site.

Permanent housing is at the end of a long, arduous path that our clients are walking. We are grateful to walk it with them. Join us in our efforts. We can’t do it without you!


Educated, Employed & Homeless…

“When I saw a homeless person I saw a ‘bum.’ Now, when I see a homeless person I see myself.”

Educated, employed, hardworking and homeless… This video gives a brief look into the trials of persons with unexpected health issues and how these issues make getting housed more difficult. It briefly explores the heartache of seeing your own children homeless and the despair that ensues. The footage also touches on the unexpected trial awaiting families that have older male children. Many family shelters will not admit males over age 8 or 10.

The recession has unleashed a new wave of homeless families. Our hope is that shelters and housing geared towards those most effected by the economic downturn can continue to doing their important work. At CCO, we believe that families should be supported and guided through homelessness to secure housing regardless of health problems, families size, age, gender or beliefs.


Doing the Right Thing as a Father…

Antwon and Daughter

“There’s so much negative imagery of black fatherhood.

I’ve got tons of friends that are doing the right thing by their kids, and doing the right thing as a father –

and how come that’s not as newsworthy?”

-Will Smith

Many fathers are sheltered at CCO and given the opportunity to stabilize their families. We count it a privilege to serve dads who want to care for their children and it’s been a joy to see so many housed and employed over the years. Our posts for the remainder of the week will be about our CCO dad’s. We hope you enjoy it!


Illinois State Budget Updates!

Illinois Budget Update- The Illinois Senate has passed the homeless budget (Emergency and Transitional Housing Program) without cuts. The budget has to pass the House and be finalized by midnight Thursday, May 31. We will continue to give you updates regarding these crucial decision.

State budget cuts can mean the loss of many homeless shelter beds across the state. Unfortunately, smaller shelters organizations could be forced to close entirely. Our hope is that legislators will see the importance of shelter services for our states most vulnerable populations.