Over the last four decades, Covenant House International has grown into one of the largest homeless service agencies in the nation. Since opening its doors in 1972, the organization has provided housing and critical resources to more than 1 million homeless and trafficked young adults throughout the United States, Canada, and Latin America.
In 2016, when Covenant House decided to expand its mission to a new city, Chicago quickly became the number one choice due to its immense gap in services provided to homeless youth. With only 375 units of housing designated to serve the 1,500–3,000 young adults on the streets, Chicago’s limited resources are not enough to meet the current need. This lack of space, combined with extreme winter weather, the geography of poverty and joblessness in Chicago, and rising gang violence, indicated a growing need among the city’s homeless youth and galvanized Covenant House’s efforts to reach young adults in crisis before it’s too late.
As the first site opened in a new state in 17 years, Covenant House Illinois marks the 30th location internationally. Opening its doors on February 7, 2017 and located in the heart of downtown Chicago, CHIL continues the mission of providing homeless youth (ages 18–24) with ongoing care and crisis support and brings much-needed support to Chicago’s homeless community.