Speak Up! Seeks Participants & Coaches in Illinois

Speak UpThe Speak Up! program engages individuals with lived experience of homelessness and provides the tools and support necessary to cultivate personal development, advocacy, and leadership skills. Speak Up! focuses on four areas of development: empowerment, leadership, storytelling and engagement.

We are seeking current or former tenants of supportive housing to participate in Speak Up! and help advocate for supportive housing in Illinois and across the country!

CSH is also looking for volunteer "coaches" to work with our participants to hone their story and practice their presentation skills.


  • Informative and interactive training sessions that include expert guest speakers
  • Local advocacy events
  • One-on-one meetings with a coach (outside of training sessions) to enhance storytelling skills by brainstorming and practicing. These meetings are not mandatory, but highly encouraged.
  • For the first half of the program, create a story that is 5-8 minutes long
  • For the second half of the program, shorten the story to 2-3 minutes long and just as effective

305_Speak Up 1_16Benefits: Gaining skills in leadership, community engagement, advocacy, and storytelling. After graduating from a Speak Up! series, participants are frequently asked to speak for other organizations and groups. For example, after an advocate was seen speaking at the CSH 2016 Summit, he was asked to speak at the annual National Alliance to End Homelessness conference the following month. Not only does Speak Up! provide professional development to tenants but, it takes it a step further by offering networking and potential opportunities post-graduation.

When & Where:
The training program will be held from January to July, 2017, and advocates should be able to devote a minimum of 5-6 hours a month. All sessions will take place at the CSH office,  205 W. Randolph, Chicago, IL 60606, 23rd FL. Bus tickets will be provided to get to and from the site.

Interested? Please view and share our flyers and be in touch!

Speak Up IL Flyer - Supportive Housing Tenants

Speak Up IL Flyer - Coaches

Questions? Contact Ashlen Olmsted at ashlen.Olmsted@csh.org or call 312-332-6690 ext. 2827

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