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Thank you for your interested in media coverage of Care For Friends!  Below are various video clips and other files you are free to use in assembling your coverage. 

To arrange an interview or access additional information about our event, please contact Care For Friends' Executive Director:

Hope Pavich

hope@careForFriends.org

773.932.1010

Organization Overview

  • Care For Friends has been serving the homeless from their Lincoln Park home base for 55 years.

  • The program started to immediately respond to the needs of students displaced by the riots surrounding the 1968 Democratic National Convention - whose needs echoed loudly this past summer.

  • COVID brought a 30% expansion in demand for our services. In addition to our "traditionally homeless" folks, we saw an increase in the number of housed families turning to us for food assistance. This led to the launch of a mobile food pantry that delivers groceries to about 400 families of CPS students who are food insecure.

  • In 2022, in anticipation of construction on a new Community Center at the 530 W. Fullerton location, Care for Friends moved to the neighborhood of Edgewater to continue their services throughout the project.

  • Due to the popularity of the program in Edgewater, Care for Friends plans to operate in two locations once the Lincoln Park community center is fully operational (est. Spring 2025). 

  • The arrival of migrants in 2023  brought a 40% expansion in demand for their services. This led to pivoting to support more young families, a population traditionally absent from on-site Care for Friends programming. 

  • Organization has 12,500 contacts per year with homeless Chicagoans (appx 68,000 people will experience homelessness in Chicago this year)

  • Many of the guests are afraid to access services from other organizations that can get them out of homelessness, because of rigorous sign-in requirements or requests for identification

    • ​within 3 weeks of becoming homeless, even the most mentally healthy folks display signs of paranoia​

    • those with prior brushes with the law or questionable immigration status are afraid to provide ID upon first contact

  • We overcome those barriers by providing "no questions asked" hot meals three times per week, which also include representatives from partner organizations that guests are otherwise are afraid to access

  • At those meals, trusting relationships are developed, producing the following results

    • Housing: 70% of guests rely on Care for Friends' services to allocate their financial resources towards paying rent. This proactive approach helps prevent eviction and contributes to the reduction of overall homelessness in Chicago.

    • Jobs: Guests have direct access to  Streetwise orientations on-site at Care for Friends and job opportunities with partners like Chicago Public Schools. 

    • Sober Mental and Physical Health:  60% of our guests have now found a permanent medical home that is not the Emergency Department.

  • We have also provided micro-grants to two dozen families experiencing short-term emergency due to COVID.

  • Key initiative for 2024 is to add an on-site food pantry. This program aims to enhance affordable access to healthy food for our guests, contributing to Care for Friends' ongoing effort to combat food insecurity in Chicago.

Locations and Service Times

  • Monday, Thursday, and Saturday, 10:30-1pm

    • 530 W. Fullerton Parkway
      Chicago, IL 60657

    • Hot Meals, Case Work Referrals, Medical Clinic, Foot Clinic, Housing Referrals, Clothes Closet, Food Pantry

  • Monday, 3:30pm - 6pm​

    • 530 W. Fullerton Parkway
      Chicago, IL 60657
      Youth After-School Programming, At-Risk Student College Prep, Dinner Meal and Activity​

History

  • In the summer of 1968, violence surrounding the Democratic National Convention sent students to the church at 530 W. Fullerton looking for shelter. This began a tradition of providing "no questions asked" support to anyone seeking assistance.

  • In 2013, the program had grown beyond the ability of the local church volunteers to support. Care For Friends was incorporated as a distinct organization, and took over all program operations and staff associated with homeless outreach. 

Events

  • Annual Sleepout for Homelessness takes place on the third Thursday of each February, and involves a few hundred volunteers sleeping in tents to raise money for the organization. Sleepout Press Kit is here.

  • Fall Community Awards generally take place in late September or early October. Care for Friends honors local restuants ("More than a Meal Award"), volunteers, and corporate supporters with recognition of their work to eradicate homelessness in Chicago.

Logo (Vector, Scalable)

Care-For-Friends logo png.png

Mobile Food Pantry

Homeless Guests

Served Food Glamour Shots

Preparing Food

Volunteers Working

Serving Food

Volunteers

Pantry Shots

Setup

Cleanup - Dishwashing

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