Finalist of DOH Program Secures Permit to Convert Unused Building into Permanent Homeless Shelter

February 24, 2023

The Chicago Department of Housing (DOH), in partnership with the Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS), is pleased to announce that a grantee finalist of its Shelter Acquisition Program – North Side Housing and Supportive Services – has secured a Special Use Permit for the conversion of a long-vacant building at 7464 N. Clark Street into a shelter. 

North Side Housing and Supportive Services currently operates a temporary shelter out of a rented motel space. The new site at 7464 N. Clark Street will allow for adult men experiencing homelessness to access shelter in a dormitory-style setting where they will have access to shared common space, three meals a day, bathing facilities, and wrap-around services. Acquisition of the building will enable North Side to sustainably provide a significant number of shelter beds with enhanced privacy and additional supportive services.  

Extensive community engagement efforts were completed by North Side in partnership with the 49th Ward office, and through the process, clear community support was established. North Side, with DOH’s support, will proceed with site rehab and repairs in compliance with zoning, building code, and accessibility requirements. 

North Side is among five grantee finalists that were selected for the Shelter Acquisition Program, which, through funding from the Chicago Recovery Plan, provides financial support and technical assistance for existing shelters to move from high-density shared spaces and/or financially untenable environments into freshly rehabilitated non-congregate environments. The program is a continuation of the work done at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, when DOH, DFSS and CDPH (Chicago Department of Public Health) leased space in hotels to provide safe, non-congregate shelter, significantly improving various health measures and self-reported mental health symptoms for those who had previously lived in congregate shelters.  

The four other grantee finalists of the Shelter Acquisition Program are Cornerstone Community Outreach, Franciscan Outreach, La Casa Norte, and Unity Parenting and Counseling, Inc.  

DOH expects each of the program grantee finalists to complete the acquisition and rehab of new, non-congregate spaces throughout the upcoming year. This program will support the transition of the current shelter infrastructure toward a more non-congregate model overall, which will help to advance the City’s goals of improving shelter services and supporting more residents to move to permanent supportive housing. For many residents, this transition begins by providing the most effective shelter services possible.   

Further information on the grantee finalists can be found below:  



Population Served 

Region of Existing Shelter Location 

Applicant’s preferred Region for Potential New Shelter 

Expected shelter beds after rehab 

North Side Housing and Supportive Services 

Single Adults 


North (7464 N. Clark) 


50 – 72 

Cornerstone Community Outreach 

Single Adults 




28 – 65  

Franciscan Outreach 


Single Adults 



50 – 100  

La Casa Norte 


Youth (18 - 24)  






30 – 75  

Unity Parenting and Counseling, Inc. 

Youth (18 – 24) 





Far South 

24 – 30  


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Historical Context for Media Outlets 

The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the risk to health and safety for Chicago’s residents living in congregate shelter. Prior to the pandemic, over 80% of beds available for single adults in Chicago were in shared rooms, which often sheltered over 20 people at a time. At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, DOH, DFSS, and CDPH leased space in hotels to provide safe, non-congregate shelter. Research conducted at these hotels by University of Chicago Medicine and Lawndale Christian Health Center during the pandemic found that non-congregate housing significantly improved various health measures and self-reported mental health symptoms. More than half of the program’s participants moved on to longer-term housing after the intervention. 

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