Help People in Need Survive the Winter

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Winter Means Danger for Chicago Neighbors

Imagine not having a place to escape the dangerously cold winter weather. For more than 6,700 of our Chicago neighbors, this is their reality every day. Staying inside during the extreme cold isn’t always an option for many people. Due to poor access to food and health care, often resulting in malnutrition and decreased body fat, individuals who are homeless have a much higher risk than the general population of developing exposure-related conditions such as hypothermia and frostbite. According to the National Coalition for the Homeless, approximately 700 people who are homeless die from hypothermia each year.

Chicago Homeless Services//Cold Weather Campaign//Franciscan Outreach


“On cold winter nights, the trick is to sleep on empty milk cartons to keep your body from freezing on the frozen ground,” says Trudy.

Click here to read Trudy’s story.






Radio Spot Winter Alert Asks Listeners to Help Guests.


Donate TodayHelp People in Need Survive the Winter

You Can Help People Stay Warm, Safe & Healthy

Please support Franciscan Outreach as we provide emergency services to help people who are homeless stay warm, safe and healthy during the cold winter months. We strive to minimize the many health risks people face by providing the following services within our five sites across Chicago:

Extended Hours: To reduce the many health risks people face by exposure to the extreme cold, Franciscan Outreach extends the hours of operation during the day at several facilities to keep people safe and warm.

Warm Bed & Hot Meal: A warm bed and a hot meal can be a lifesaver, especially in Chicago’s dangerously cold winter weather. Franciscan Outreach shelters offer a warm bed and a hot meal for more than 330 men and women each night of the year. The Franciscan Outreach Marquard Center soup kitchen provides a hot meal for more than 100 guests each night of the year.

Clean Clothes & Hot Shower: Thanks to many generous donations from members of the community, we are able to provide our guests with seasonally appropriate clothing, such as coats, hats, gloves, to ensure they are protected from the cold. During the winter months, people and their clothing get extra dirty and wet. Franciscan Outreach offers the only on-site laundry service in Chicago for people who are homeless. We also provide access to hot showers for people to stay clean and healthy.

Health Care: With chronic illness being exacerbated during the cold winter months, Franciscan Outreach partners with Rush University Medical Center and Heartland Health Outreach to ensure that our guests can get the primary health care services they need, regardless of their income or insurance status. Guests in need of mental health services have access to counselors from Thresholds who offer the clinical support they need at Franciscan Outreach facilities.

Transportation Assistance: Walking in cold, harsh, snowy conditions can prove dangerous for everyone. Unfortunately, people experiencing homelessness are often left without access to safer modes of transportation. Franciscan Outreach offers CTA passes to those who need them so that they can get where they need to go, safely.

Communication Services: Without access to a phone or a permanent residence, communication is especially difficult during cold winter months. Regular access to a phone and an address are two vital resources necessary to apply for a job, housing or benefits. Guests at Franciscan Outreach are able to use the telephone whenever they need, as well as have their mail delivered to one of our sites, where it can be safely held for them.

Please find a home in your heart for those who are homeless!

Donate Today – Help People in Need Survive the Winter