Chicago Homeless, Housing First, Ending Homelessness
Chicago Alliance to End Homelessness

ADVOCACY

This section addresses these key topics:

Chicago Alliance Advocacy Training
Make Your Voice Heard: Join the Advocacy Team Today
Chicago Homeless Youth Testify Before Congress

Chicago Alliance Advocacy Training

On April 30, 2013, the Chicago Alliance hosted "The Art of Advocacy: A Training in Four Acts."  Over sixty providers, consumers, and community leaders attended the training and learned: 

- The Do's and Don'ts of Non-Profit Advocacy 
- The Latest Policy News from Washington D.C., Springfield, and City Hall  
- How to Be An Effective Advocate from Experienced Leaders 

You can view the Advocacy Training presentation for more information.  Contact Nicole Amling if you have any questions and check back for future training dates! 

Make Your Voice Heard: Join the Advocacy Team Today

Do you want to be a part of a dynamic online community that is making strides to end homelessness in Chicago?  Take the first step by signing up for the Chicago Alliance's Advocacy Team today.

The Advocacy Team consists of service providers, consumers, and concerned indivuals committed to making a difference and ending homelessness in their community.  As a member of the Advocacy Team, you will receive periodic e-mail Action Alerts from the Chicago Alliance.  The Alerts will provide information about important and timely legislation or policy matters at the federal, state, or city level and urge you to take action, most likely by contacting your elected representatives.  The Advocacy Team is a true activist community -- the power of many voices will make the change we need. 

Send us one quick e-mail today and you'll be the newest member of the Advocacy Team! 

Chicago Homeless Youth Testify Before Congress

On Thursday, December 15, 2011, two Chicago youth testified before a Congressional subcommittee on their experiences of homelessness and living doubled up, while still managing to pursue their education.  Starnica Rodgers was 18 years old, eight months pregnant, and staying at The Night Ministry’s north side shelter for pregnant and parenting teens; she also just finished her first semester at Truman College.  25-year-old Brandon Dunlap was homeless during high school, but managed to earn a Bachelors degree from Kendall College, and is now working at the Union League Club of Chicago.  You can read the compelling testimonies of Starnica, Brandon, and the other courageous young people who testified, or watch a clip from the NBC Nightly News.

The hearing was sponsored by Representative Judy Biggert from Chicago’s western suburbs, who is trying to increase resources for homeless children and youth in school.  It was an unprecedented and powerful opportunity for homeless youth to share their experiences directly with Congress.  As Representative Green from Texas explained in his opening remarks, “this is one of the most important hearings I have ever been a part of.” 

Starnica, Brandon, and their sponsors from the Chicago Alliance and the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless spent the remainder of the day in Washington meeting with influential policymakers.  They met with Representatives Danny Davis, Jan Schakowsky, and Robert Dold from the Chicagoland area and even Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa!   All the legislators were impressed with Starnica and Brandon and vowed to work harder to end the “national embarrassment” of youth homelessness.