Homeless Services


The Chicago Department of Family and Support Services Homeless Division plays a key role in managing the City's infrastructure related to prevention, shelter, outreach, housing services and leads local strategic efforts towards the larger goal of preventing and ending homelessness. DFSS works in close coordination with the Chicago Continuum of Care (CoC) the local body of stakeholders invested in ending homelessness.

The DFSS Homeless Division’s work is informed by collaborative efforts with the Chicago Continuum of Care (CoC), federal priorities and the community’s Plan 2.0. For additional information relating to Plan 2.0, visit: https://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/fss/supp_info/plan_to_homelessness.html

Our efforts are guided by the emerging needs and trends of Chicago residents seeking homeless services.

Emergency Homeless Assessment and Response Center (EHARC)
Operated by the Salvation Army, this new facility is designed to meet the needs of families as they await placement and serve as the hub access point under the coordinated entry system. Families at EHARC will receive diversion assessment and diversion services if appropriate.
Homeless Outreach and Engagement
DFSS’ Homeless Outreach and Prevention (HOP) team and our delegate agencies work to engage unsheltered homeless residents living near railroad tracks, bridges, the Chicago River, viaducts and alleys, Chicago Parks and CTA train stations into services that will lead to housing or shelter.
Homeless Prevention
DFSS is committed to preventing homelessness whenever possible. Prevention services include short-term financial assistance for rent, utilities, arrears and other costs related to housing stability. In addition to financial assistance, households receive housing stability case management focused on budgeting and resolving issues that contributed to the initial housing crisis.
Housing Supports
DFSS funds 25 delegate agencies to provide supportive services in permanent housing settings. Permanent supportive housing is a long-term housing model with intensive supportive services. These programs provide housing stability services and subsidies in scattered site housing as well as project-based facilities.
The City of Chicago, Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) funds a network of community based shelters that support individuals who are in crisis and the chronically homeless.
System Planning and Coordination
In addition to contract management and service coordination in those core areas, DFSS staff leads and participates in cross-sector collaborative initiatives, system and policy coordination efforts, and data and governance initiatives.


 Additional Information

Information on Plan 2.0 and efforts to prevent and end homelessness including 2.0 updates and Point-In-Time reports:

Chicago's Plan 2.0 for the Homeless