Residential Services Now Open at CHIL
Covenant House Illinois is excited to announce the opening of twelve units of transitional housing at its current location in the Lawson House (30 W. Chicago Avenue). In addition to 24-hour residential services, the expansion will include a classroom, computer lab, dining hall, and additional community space.
This step marks the largest expansion of services for CHIL since opening its doors in February 2017 and will provide 24-hour support for young people experiencing homelessness. Youth staying in these units will have continued access to CHIL’s existing daytime Youth Development Center, which offers homeless and at-risk youth (ages 18-24) access to immediate resources, such as meal and laundry service, as well as case management, life skills training, and personal enrichment programming.
The Youth Development Center will continue to offer wraparound services through its partnerships with many community organizations, including: The Cara Program (workforce training and job placement), Heartland Alliance (healthcare), Thresholds (mental health services), and Chicago Coalition for the Homeless and Cabrini Green Legal Aid (legal services).
“This expansion will allow CHIL to provide a level of stability for the youth residing with us to achieve their best self and create change in their lives”, says Jenny Paveglio, Director of Program Implementation at CHIL.
Each transitional housing unit will bring the community one step further in closing the gap in resources available for this vulnerable group and will offer young people experiencing homelessness the stability needed to continue the hard work of rebuilding their lives.
“I’m really excited to have a place to come back to everyday - a place to safely keep my belongings, study, relax and refocus,” says Saya, one of the first participants in CHIL’s new residential program. “Up until now, I’ve purposely been working double shifts so that I had someplace to be until my shelter bed opened up each night, and so that I could have a meal. A place with Covenant House means that I don’t have to worry about those things anymore.”
News of this expansion comes on the heels of Covenant House Illinois welcoming its new CEO, Cheryl Hamilton-Hill, who joined the organization in July after more than twenty years of executive leadership and service on the senior teams of several international organizations, including United Way and the American Red Cross.
“The work that we do at Covenant House is transformational. We provide youth experiencing homelessness with not only the basic needs which are deserved by every human being, but we do this with a foundation of care and direct support that creates exceptional opportunities for success”, explains Hamilton-Hill.
Having recently surpassed 10,000 visits to its Youth Development Center, and with the addition of residential units, CHIL is looking ahead to the future as it continues to search for space that will enable additional units of transitional housing and even more programs and services for homeless and at-risk youth.