Today I joined other Chicagoans from across the city – including some elected officials and candidates – for the Bring Chicago Home People’s Hearing.
Bring Chicago Home is incredibly important to keep in mind as we gear up for the upcoming Run-Off Election. Not all of the candidates will support it, and 26 alderpeople need to vote for BCH in order to get it on the ballot. We were unable to get BCH on the February ballot because only 25 alders supported it.
A big shout out to our leaders who attended the People’s Hearing today to voice their support for BCH (sorry if I missed anyone):
Alderpeople and Alder candidates:
Daniel La Spata (1st Ward)
Andre Vasquez (40th Ward)
Julia Ramirez (12th Ward)
Jessie Fuentes (26th Ward)
Desmon Yancy (5th Ward)
Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th Ward)
Rossana Rodríguez (33rd Ward)
Newly elected Police District Council Member Rev. Marilyn Pagán-Banks
Mayoral candidate Brandon Johnson
WHY SUPPORT BRING CHICAGO HOME:
In the Christian tradition, we look to the teachings and commandments of Jesus, a homeless refugee who said the GREATEST commandment is to Love Thy Neighbor as Thyself.
Bring Chicago Home seeks to put this commandment into action:
65,000 Chicagoans experience homelessness.
1 in 4 are children.
1/2 are families.
3 in 4 are People of Color.
Many are veterans and survivors of domestic violence.
Many are CPS students and college students.
Many are refugees from around the world and Asylum Seekers who recently arrived in Chicago from the border.
LGBTQIA+ youth are twice as likely to experience homelessness than their non-queer peers.
People who experience homelessness live on the streets, stay in shelters (if they can find ones that have space), couch hop, live in cars, or are in doubled-up households.
Doubled-up households are not included in HUD’s definition of homelessness. This means if you are doubled-up, you are not eligible for some federal housing assistance programs.
Most shelters in Chicago only house men, do not house families, children, or youth, and/or are not safe for queer folx (especially trans folx.)
Many of the college students I work with who are housing insecure struggle to find a shelter that feels safe or that can house their children. Many of these students are doubled-up and thus are not eligible for assistance programs. Some of them are living out of their cars with their siblings.
Imagine trying to get a college degree or trying to focus in class (K-12) when you don’t know where you’re going to sleep at night or if you’re going to eat that day.
Currently, Chicago’s annual budget that’s dedicated to homelessness prevention is $26 million compared to LA’s annual budget of $636.9 million and New York’s annual budget of $1.4 billion.
Bring Chicago Home offers a solution to help increase our annual budget to $160 million for affordable housing and homelessness prevention. This steady revenue would come from a 1.9% increase on the one-time Real Estate Transfer Sales Tax for homes that are over $1 million.
This would only affect 4.2% of Chicagoans, but the revenue would be able to house and provide wraparound services (job training, mental health services, youth programs, safety initiatives, etc.) to more than 12,000 houseless families over the next 10 years.
We all benefit when more people are housed and receive wraparound services. As 1 Corinthians 12:26 reminds us: “If one member (of the body) suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it.”
Learn more about BCH, join the movement, and help spread the word!