CHICAGO — Three Chicago groups are coming together to help people with permanent housing, furniture, clothing and supplies. The coalition comes as resources have been stretched thin as the city works to manage the recent influx of asylum seekers.
The Chicago Coalition for the Homeless estimates that nearly 70,000 people were experiencing homelessness in Chicago in 2021 and the critical need for housing has surged in the past year, with the arrival of more than 15,000 migrants and asylum seekers.
The new coalition includes New Life Centers, which is working directly with the city and the state to ramp up efforts to transition families from shelters into permanent housing, Craddels to Crayons, which is collecting essential supplies and new or gently used clothing in all sizes, and the Chicago Furniture Bank, which is accepting donations to help furnish the homes.
Last year the Furniture Bank served more than 4,000 homes. They expect that number to climb to 6,000 this year and say they are desperate to get more furniture so can can give it away.
“We try to repurpose and recycle and reuse everything we get our hands on,” Paul De Boer, the Executive Director of the Chicago Furniture Bank said.
The groups say their goal is to collaborate on solutions to meet the urgent needs of all unhoused people in Chicago and offer them stability with dignity.