City of Chicago Provides Winter Coats for 1,000 Homeless Youth

The coats will be distributed to youth currently residing in 36 homeless shelters for families.
“Winter coats are a necessity that few homeless families can afford,” said Eileen Donnersberger, Acting Commissioner for the Chicago Department of Human Services. “The provision of free jackets allows children to travel to school warm and safe. And, the attractive, popular styles help boost the self-esteem of kids who face multiple challenges.”

This year, the City of Chicago has partnered with Operation Warm to ensure homeless and low-income children have proper outerwear to survive the cold winter months. Through private donations and relationships with manufacturers, Operation Warm makes new coats available at reduced costs. In addition to the 1,000 committed for homeless youth, the CHA has joined with Operation Warm to provide jackets to 4,000 young residents.

“Through this program we ARE able to provide jackets to every child currently residing in a City-funded family shelter,” said Donnersberger.

CCIL was one of the shelters whose families benefited from coats. “We run an intensive program to get our clients into permanent housing within four months of arriving at our shelter. The dollars families save on purchasing winter wear can be put toward a security deposit and first month’s rent,” says Mary Shaver, Interim Executive Director.

There are approximately 100 homeless shelters in the City of Chicago. With 5,000 shelter beds available this winter, no one needs to spend the night on the street. Citizens who see people that appear to be in need of shelter are urged to call 311. The Department of Human Services will send an outreach team to offer assistance.

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