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Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:34pm
Wed Nov 18, 2015

Chicago Homeless Advocates Roll Out Campaign To Improve Housing Stability For Families

In light of a new survey detailing the negative impact of homelessness on Chicago children, homeless advocates in the city launched a new campaign Wednesday aimed at improving housing stability and educational supports for families lacking stable homes.

Last school year, there were an estimated 13,054 families in Chicago who experienced homelessness, a number that has tripled over the past 12 years, advocates said at a morning press conference.

"Parents and, most especially, their children, are suffering in Chicago," said Eithne McMenamin, associate policy director at the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless. "They are suffering the effects of unstable housing and the resulting educational instability."

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
5:43pm
Wed Jan 7, 2015

Fioretti Talks Ride-Sharing Safety, Ethics & Policing At U of C

Progress Illinois provides highlights from Ald. Bob Fioretti's Monday talk about his Chicago mayoral bid a the University of Chicago's Institute of Politics.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
5:34pm
Wed Dec 3, 2014

Report: Illinois State Revenue Drop Could Harm Homeless Prevention Efforts

An expected drop in next year's state revenue could spell trouble for an important Illinois homeless prevention program and other crucial supports if Springfield lawmakers fail to take action, advocates are warning.

The state's 2011 temporary income tax increase is slated to sunset starting in January, resulting in a more than a $2 billion revenue decline in the current fiscal year, according to a new analysis by the Fiscal Policy Center at Voices for Illinois Children. In the next fiscal year, state revenue could fall by about $5.4 billion if the tax hike isn't renewed, according to the group.

If the income tax hike expires as planned, legislators might be forced to cut funding for anti-homelessness and other non-mandated programs by an average of 25 percent in order to balance the budget for fiscal year 2016, which begins in July, the center's analysis shows. Average cuts could reach 33 percent if the Illinois Supreme Court strikes down the state's 2013 pension reform overhaul, which is expected to save $1 billion next fiscal year.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
11:05am
Wed Nov 19, 2014

HUD: Homelessness On The Decline In Illinois

Homelessness in Illinois has dropped 8.9 percent since 2010, new figures from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) show.

There were 13,107 homeless people in Illinois as of this January, down from 14,395 in 2010, according to HUD's annual 'point-in-time' homelessness estimates released late last month. The numbers are based on a one-night count of homeless individuals in shelters and on the street in January.

Over the past year, homelessness in Illinois fell 2.4 percent, HUD's count showed. Notably, homelessness among unaccompanied children and youth in the state decreased by more than 200 between 2013 and 2014.

Nationwide, 578,424 people were homeless during that one-night period in January, representing a 10 percent drop from 2010.

"As a nation, we are successfully reducing homelessness in this country, especially for those who have been living on our streets as a way of life," HUD Secretary Julian Castro said in a news release. "There is still a tremendous amount of work ahead of us, but it's clear our strategy is working and we're going to push forward till we end homelessness as we've come to know it."  

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
6:47pm
Mon Mar 3, 2014

New Report Finds Gaps In Educational Supports For Illinois Homeless Students

The number of homeless students in Illinois has ballooned over recent years with many of these children and youth unable to access vital educational supports, according to a new survey and report from the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless

Given the recent findings, housing advocates say it is crucial that the state restore funding for the education of students with unstable homes.

"We’ve got this exploding population, but yet districts don’t have sufficient resources to adequately serve them," said Patricia Nix-Hodes, associate director of the law project at the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
3:48pm
Wed Jun 5, 2013

Illinois General Assembly Spares Cuts To Education Budget

Early childhood education advocates say the state's budget plan for the upcoming fiscal year that passed in the state House and Senate last week is a partial victory. Progress Illinois takes a closer look at how education will be funded under the new budget.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
5:18pm
Tue Apr 16, 2013

CTU Report Examines Culture Of Fear, Disinvestment Among Schools Targeted For Closure

Chicago Public Schools plans to close 54 schools in June, but a new Chicago Teachers Union study raises questions about whether the district has the capacity to close that many in such a short time, given its issues with closing at least one of four schools last year.

Once Englewood’s Simon Guggenheim Elementary closed last year, only 37 percent of its non-graduating students enrolled at the designated receiving school, Carrie Jacobs Bond Elementary, according to CTU’s “A Tale of Two Schools” study.

Also, CPS has yet to account for 23 former Guggenheim students, the study added.

“To lose any student, let alone that many ... it’s just dangerous, and it just baffles me how CPS thinks that this is a good plan, when for the past 10 years or so, when these school closings started, they’ve never been able to get it right, because it’s not right,” said Action Now Executive Director Katelyn Johnson.

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