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Colleen McNulty
Legislative Advocacy

Story of Homelessness in Chicago

Defining the Problem- Point in Time
5,657 homeless in the City of Chicago
72% of the homeless are sheltered
12% decrease in the sheltered from 2016-2017
343 are chronically homeless
570 families in shelters
29% of homeless individuals under the age of 18

Defining the Problem- Point in Time
18% of sheltered homeless individuals
reported a current or past substance use
issue, while 39% of the unsheltered
population reported a current or past
substance abuse issue
19% of sheltered homeless report a current
or prior mental health condition, while 28% of
the unsheltered population reported receiving
mental health services
1 in 5 homeless persons are a victim of
domestic violence
43% of all homeless males and 19% of all
homeless females surveyed reported having
spent time in jail or prison
Defining the Problem- Chicago Coalition
for the Homeless
Report released this summer based on 2015 census
82,212 homeless population in 2015
9,925 families experienced homelessness
doubled up population
18,117 homeless students reported by CPS
Causes: drugs, domestic violence, mental illness, and young people aging out of
foster care
Lack of affordable housing- many turned away due to insufficient resources


Not all panhandlers are homeless

Any solicitation made in person upon any street, public place or park in the city, in
which a person requests an immediate donation of money or other gratuity from
another person
52% said they were homeless, 47% panhandle because they were hungry, 63%
reported a struggle with substance abuse, and 52% reported a mental health issue
Panhandling has been upheld by the courts as free speech
Aggressive panhandling is subject to a citation especially if panhandlers are in the
road or on public transportation

What has been done?

Day for Change programs- funded by Airbnb tax

Aggressive panhandling made illegal


Text to Give Campaign

Philadelphia, PA
Evidence money given largely goes towards drugs
Short-term solution
Texting gives $5 donation, which is matched by the Office of Homeless Services
Educate the public on the problem

Show You Care


City of Chicago
Create an ordinance that sets up the fund
Each donation is matched by the fees the city collects from housing violations

Legislative Language

Title 5: Housing and Economic Development

Housing Opportunities through Many Efforts and Services (HOME) Fund
Collection of fees--
The City shall establish the Housing Opportunities through Many Efforts and Services
(HOME) fund into which all text-to-give donations shall be deposited. The City shall also
match each donation made by using funds from housing violation fees and if there are
insufficient funds the City shall appropriate sufficient funds to match each text to give
donation from the General Revenue Fund.
Use of fund--
All fees deposited into the Housing Opportunities through Many Efforts and Services
(HOME) fund shall be used towards the creation of affordable housing and homeless
shelters including social services.

Legislative Language

Alter 5-8-130: Housing Violation Penalty

Any owner, lessee, sublessee, assignee, managing agent, condominium association
board of managers, governing body of cooperative, or other person, firm,
corporation, or real estate broker, who shall violate or fail to comply with any of the
provisions of this ordinance, as determined by this commission, shall be punished
by a fine in any sum not exceeding $1,000.00, which shall be used to match text to
give donations in the Housing Opportunities through Many Efforts and Services
fund. Nothing herein contained shall be construed so as to preclude any aggrieved
person from pursuing such other and further legal and equitable relief to which he
may be entitled.

Policy champions

Mayor Rahm Emanuel

Alderman James Cappleman (46th Ward)
Alderman Joe Moore (49th Ward)
Alderman Walter Burnett (27th Ward)
Alderman Michele Smith (43rd Ward)
Alderman Matthew OShea (19th Ward)


Chicago Coalition for the Homeless

All Chicago
Heartland Alliance
Greater Chicago Food Depository
The Catholic Charities- Archdiocese of Chicago
Chicago HOPES for Kids
Sarahs Circle

Others Interested

Department of Family Supports and Services (DFSS)

Department of Planning and Development
Chicago Public Schools
Philadelphia: Shared Public Spaces Work Group

Marketing Plan

Acronym: HOME
Share on social media and create a logo
Hang posters: local businesses where panhandling is common
Public transportation
Host a Press Event