Eviction Day for Our Neighbors in Need
“Eviction Day” reads the cover of the Chicago Sun-Times today. In the news coverage over the last few months, we’ve all heard about the plight of the people living in the Tent City under the viaduct on Wilson Ave. in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood.
The question of “What can be done?” seems to be on everyone’s mind. The answer is not a simple one for our Chicago neighbors in need.
The truth is that Chicago is home to more than 2.7 million people. According to the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, more than 82,000, or 3 percent of our neighbors, have been reported homeless, which includes individuals and families who are homeless and doubled up living with family and friends. The City of Chicago, in its annual Point-in-Time count, reports that on any given night, more than 5,800 of our neighbors are living on the streets and in shelters.
Each day Franciscan Outreach serves hundreds of men and women who are marginalized and homeless. We provide healthy meals to those who are hungry, a warm bed for those who need shelter, vital case management services for those who need guidance, and access to critical resources for those who need specialized assistance.
Like all of us, each person we support at Franciscan Outreach has a personal story, which includes personal challenges. Some of these challenges are greater than others. However, all of them can be addressed and overcome with the proper support.
The answer to the question “What can be done?” is not simple. However, we know that by providing the individual support our neighbors need, we can help them address the personal challenges they face so they’re able to begin making positive changes in their lives.
A Portrait of Homelessness in Chicago
To address this growing concern for our neighbors in need, Franciscan Outreach has developed a traveling exhibit as part of a campaign to raise awareness about homelessness in Chicago. This exhibit is called A Portrait of Homelessness in Chicago. It is a collection of portraits and stories that share the real life experiences of people who are homeless in Chicago. The 12 men and women featured in this exhibit share their personal stories, including the circumstances that have led them to becoming homeless, the steps they’re taking to overcome personal challenges, the barriers they face to finding employment and housing and their goals.
A Portrait of Homelessness in Chicago is a traveling exhibit that includes a 10-minute presentation. An optional six-minute video is also available, which features three of the 12 exhibit participants. This traveling exhibit is available to any organization looking to educate and inspire its employees, congregations, constituents and friends.
If you’re interested in showcasing A Portrait of Homelessness in Chicago at your organization, visit www.franoutreach.org/a-portrait-of-homelessness.
Please consider making a donation to Franciscan Outreach to make a meaningful difference in the lives of our neighbors in need.