CSH Funder Spotlight: The Chicago Community Trust

CSH is proud of our longstanding partnership with The Chicago Community Trust and the work we are doing together to integrate permanent housing solutions into the health sector, advancing critical resources and comprehensive outcomes for Chicago’s highest-need individuals and families.

According to its website, “The Chicago Community Trust committed to supporting innovative partnerships that center on the impact of quality, accessible, and permanent housing by launching its pioneering Housing+ program. Through 2017 and early 2018, the Trust awarded 16 grants to strengthen the connections between permanent housing and better outcomes in health, criminal justice recidivism reduction, and educational attainment and performance through coordinated service delivery, advocacy, and research.”

As one of these grantees, CSH has partnered with the University of Illinois at Chicago (UI), the Illinois Public Health Institute, the Cook County Health and Hospitals System (CCHHS), the Chicago Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS), and the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) to implement Chicago’s new Flexible Housing Pool (FHP).

Recognizing that the solution to homelessness is housing, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) formalized the FHP through an ordinance introduced by the City’s Department of Planning and Development and a $1.8 million budget allocation. According to the Mayor’s office, the FHP represents a “one-of-a-kind rental subsidy source” that allows partners to quickly house and provide supportive services to some of Chicago’s most challenging and costly homeless populations, including individuals who are high users of emergency rooms and the criminal justice system.

In the long term, the FHP reorients the crisis response system to a collective impact approach, creating new supportive housing capacity and stabilizing high utilizers of crisis systems with complex health needs. It improves housing stability, increases use of appropriate health services, and reduces use of costly crisis care services.

Support from The Chicago Community Trust has enabled CSH and its partners to create the foundation of a $12MM annual supportive housing fund embraced by a health system, foundation, and public investments, which will serve at least 750 persons annually.

The Chicago Community Trust and CSH believe the FHP will significantly reduce chronic homelessness in Chicago and Cook County, and bring new supportive housing units online at an unprecedented scale and pace.

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