Weather reports are citing below freezing temperatures across Chicago. While many stay in the warm comforts of their own homes, there are tens of thousands of people who brace the cold winter months with limited resources, and who are often on the streets.
As these next few days of dangerously cold temperatures settle in over Chicago, please consider helping homeless people stay warm.
Check out our list of a few ways to help the homeless survive the Polar Vortex and the entire winter season below.
Give out gear to keep our vendors and homeless warm
One of the easiest ways to help during the winter months is by donating clothes, shoes and blankets to people sleeping on the streets directly, or to StreetWise where we distribute all of these items on a daily basis (while supplies last).
Here are some of the most needed items:
Hand and Toe Warmers
Gift Card (McDonald’s, Dunkin Donuts, etc.)
If you have spare gear, please consider donating it to StreetWise or hand out directly to someone you see on the streets.
You can purchase these items from home by visiting our
Amazon Smile Wish List here
Order the items and have them shipped directly to StreetWise.
If you don't want to purchase or distribute items directly, but you still want to help, please consider at donation to
so we can purchase the items.
Provide information about nearby warming centers.
Another easy way to help the homeless is to let them know about warming centers or local soup kitchens where they can get a hot meal and some warmth.
StreetWise provides hot meals, coffee, and a warm place to be Monday - Saturday for our vendors and those nearby in need. You can direct people to our office at 4554 N. Broadway, Suite 350. StreetWise office remains open from 7:00am to 4:00pm Monday – Friday, and 9:00am to 1:00pm on Saturday this week.
Chicago Department of Family and Support Services
operates Chicago’s main warming centers. There are 6 regional Community Service Centers that double as warming centers. These Community Service Centers are open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Garfield Center, 10 South Kedzie and King Community Center, 4314 S. Cottage Grove
In addition, The Chicago Park District has designated 62 park fieldhouses as warming centers for the remainder of the winter season.
Call 311 to locate the nearest warming center.
And Don’t Forget to Buy the Magazine!
If our vendors our out selling their magazine to continue to support themselves, please take the magazine – you can pay the $2.00 on Venmo, paypal, or at
– we will give them the money directly.
Please join us as we seek to keep some of our most vulnerable neighbors safe this winter.