October 23, 2018

Mayor Emanuel Announces New Investments In Homeless Services

New study shows four percent decrease in homelessness in 2018

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) Commissioner Lisa Morrison Butler today announced a $1.1 million investment in the 2019 budget to support homeless residents in Chicago. Funding will support a pilot to support homeless residents living in encampments, as well as supportive services for homeless families transitioning into Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) housing.

“Every resident should have a roof over their head, and every child should have a safe space to call home,” said Mayor Emanuel. “This investment will help build on the gains we’ve made for the city’s homeless population in a holistic, comprehensive and compassionate manner.”

“Through our large network of partners, delegate agencies and advocates, we as a city are committed to a compassionate and consistent approach to ending homelessness,” said DFSS Commissioner Lisa Morrison Butler. “While we have made progress in helping many residents across the city, we will use the results of the latest Point In Time data to inform our work moving forward so that every Chicagoan can get the resources and the services they need to sustain permanent housing.”

The Encampment Response pilot will provide intensive outreach and supportive services to homeless encampment residents with a goal of transitioning residents to permanent supportive housing. Investments in the 2019 budget will include:

  • Encampment Response/Navigation Team: The team, which will include a nurse practitioner, will work alongside other city agencies to provide sustained, coordinated support for encampment residents.
  • Navigation Center for Encampment Residents: The Navigation Center, a low-barrier shelter successfully piloted this year, will continue to provide encampment residents with temporary housing until they can be successfully matched with permanent supportive housing.
  • Overnight Encampment Outreach: Outreach teams will provide overnight support to encampment residents and follow-up with case managers during business hours.  

The encampment pilot was designed by the Mayor’s Interagency Task Force to Reduce Homelessness and modeled after a successful initiative developed by the City of San Francisco.

CHA has also pledged to provide rental subsidies to homeless families and youth through its Project Based Voucher program. Additional funding in the 2019 budget will provide those households with the supports they need to maintain housing and become independent.

Increased funding for the city’s homeless residents comes as Chicago has experienced a nearly four percent decrease in homelessness over last year, the lowest number on record since 2007. The decrease, as reported in the city’s annual Homeless Point-in-Time (PIT) Count and Survey Report, found that 5,450 people in Chicago are experiencing homelessness as compared to 5,657 last year. This is third year in a row that saw the number of homeless residents in Chicago decline.

The PIT Count and Survey Report is mandated by the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) and requires municipalities and homeless service providers to demonstrate their needs every two years.

“In Chicago the number of people experiencing homelessness has decreased by 21 percent since 2015,” said Dr. Nonie Brennan, Chief Executive Officer of All Chicago, Making Homelessness History.

“This is a direct result of the Mayor and his team’s political will and the coordinated system we’ve put in place in Chicago.”

Since Mayor Emanuel took office in 2011, the City of Chicago has increased funding for homeless initiatives by more than 10 percent and invested in innovative new programs for veterans, youth, families, and victims of domestic violence.

City Council is expected to vote on Mayor Emanuel’s 2019 city budget proposal in November. The proposed 2019 budget contains no new taxes, and expands youth investments, builds on public safety reforms, and bolsters the neighborhood services that residents expect.