March 2021
Latest News
HOW 5K Plus - Sunday June 6th
Friendly Fitness Fundraiser
We are excited to bring back 2020's most popular event and invite you to join in the fun this year! HOW's second annual 5K Plus is slated for Sunday, June 6th.

This do-it-yourself style event can be completed anywhere, by anyone! Participants can select any activity to best fit their lifestyle, whether it's running a 5K, going for a bike ride, doing a yoga class or another form of fitness. This highly customizable event is the perfect way to connect with friends and family (no matter where they are!) and bond through a shared experience. Registrants also have the opportunity to set a fundraising goal and create a crowdfunding page to secure sponsors and meet their goal. To help get the team spirit flowing, HOW has also launched a Team crowdfunding function which allows participants to come up with a team name and fundraise as a group!

All registrants will receive a "swag bag" filled with goodies, an exclusive invite to the post-race virtual party, a chance to earn a free t-shirt, and the knowledge that their participation will help to provide housing and support to those who need it most.

Learn more about HOW's 5K Plus and how to register here.
Social Media Takeover
During the first week in March Case Manager Becca took over HOW's social media accounts granting followers an exclusive behind-the-scenes look into the agency's work. Becca, who joined HOW in November of 2020, originally started working in housing because of a personal history of experiencing homelessness. Although she has not been with HOW long, Becca has had a large impact on the agency and is known for her dedication, kindness, and can-do spirit. Throughout the week, Becca blended her personal narrative with HOW's work to highlight the agency's impact and demonstrate its core value of compassion. You can explore her posts using the links below, or by visiting HOW's Facebook. Thank you Becca!

Becca's Posts:
The Power of Place
Helping One Client at a Time
Stable housing is a protective factor which leads to better life and health outcomes for individuals and families. However, it's not only having a home, but also the location of a person's residence, which greatly affects one's opportunity for educational and economic success. As a housing provider HOW is acutely aware of the power of place. The agency works to pair clients with housing in their preferred neighborhoods to keep them connected to their communities and/or in resource-rich areas within Chicagoland.

For Jenna*, securing housing in a neighborhood with good schools for her three children was her top priority when joining HOW. She wanted to relocate to a neighborhood where she could plant permanent roots for her family with more community programs and parks, and better educational opportunities. However, neighborhoods with these amenities have little available housing to match the high-demand. With many landlords not accepting housing subsidies, Jenna and her Case Manager were struggling to find a suitable apartment. However, they worked together tirelessly searching and eventually found the perfect place to call home. Since moving in October of 2020, the family has enjoyed exploring the neighborhood one park at a time, taking advantage of the the extra green space, and remaining healthy and stable throughout the pandemic.

"Jenna called me to thank me and the program because she is so extremely happy with her new unit. Even her teenage son got on the phone to thank me and say how happy he is with his new neighborhood," shared Jenna's Case Manager.

*Jenna's name has been changed.
Vaccine Victories
Connecting Clients to the Care
Throughout the pandemic, we've seen disparities in health, housing, and economic stability produce disproportionate rates of infection and death related to COVID in communities of color. In 2020, 84% of clients served by HOW were people of color and 75% of households were led by someone with a chronic health condition or disability. The vast majority of HOW's clients were more susceptible to illness from and increased severity of the virus. With this in mind, HOW has launched an effort to empower and educate clients regarding current vaccines and to support them in getting inoculated. HOW has assisted clients navigating the various avenues used to secure vaccine appointments from largescale providers to local health centers. Case Managers are working one-on-one with clients to ensure those who are eligible for the vaccine will have the opportunity to receive it. These efforts are already having an impact as almost 50% of HOW's eligible adults over 65 were vaccinated at the start of March. And with eligibility rapidly expanding to zip codes across the city, HOW is working overtime to help clients gain access as soon as they can.
Volunteer with HOW!
You Can Make A Difference
At HOW we recognize the importance of working together to expand capacity, increase sustainability and achieve shared goals for our communities.

Through the agency's volunteer program, community members are invited to get more involved in HOW's work, and find the right opportunity to meet their interests and availability. We have a variety of one-time, recurring, group and individual opportunities spanning from gardening at one of HOW's buildings, picking up donated items, assisting the Employment Program with mock interviews, or mentoring a teen!

Visit HOW's volunteer page to see what opportunities are available now!
HOW's 2021 Speaker Series
This Year's Theme: Housing Rx
This year HOW is pleased to be hosting a speaker series to explore the intersection of health and housing. This three-part series, culminating with HOW's fall luncheon, will engage experts from a variety of sectors to discuss topics including the impact of the pandemic, health disparities and housing as a means to achieve better health.
Keep an Eye Out - Spring is Almost Here!
HOW's Spring Cleaning Drive is Around the Corner
Every year HOW hosts a Spring Cleaning Drive to supply clients with the basic items necessary to keeping a home clean and living a healthy life. Keep an eye out for an email with details on how to participate starting in April!
The Supportive Housing Providers Association is hosting its Annual Spring Conference and Advocacy Day on April 7th and 8th. This virtual conference will span a wide variety of topics relevant for Housing Providers as well as local advocates including policy discussions and presentations on the latest best-practice research. Find out more about this event including how to register here.
This month, approximately one million children in Illinois will receive additional federally funded food benefits. These food benefits, valued at up to $110 million per month, will help to expand food support and reach approximately 200,000 more children than in 2020. Eligible families will automatically receive these benefits via an "EBT Card" mailed directly to their homes helping to streamline the process. You can learn more here.
The State of Illinois and the Citizen Utility Board (CUB) has expanded the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program to include new funding specifically designated to help Illinois families severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The state is encouraging all residents eligible for the program to apply for Help for Illinois Families assistance today.
Ways to Support HOW's Work

Monthly donors provide reliable funds to sustain families as they rebuild their lives after housing instability or homelessness.

There are many ways to leave a meaningful, lasting legacy of impact to address homelessness in Chicago.

Major Donors at HOW provide crucial support to help fund the agency's most innovative new projects and programming.
Don't Forget to Follow Us and Always Stay Up To Date!
Empowering individuals and families to break the cycle of poverty and homelessness.

Since 1983, HOW has been a leader in permanent solutions to homelessness. Through prevention strategies; expanded, affordable, supportive housing; and individualized support services we have helped thousands take back their lives.