Love Don't Pay the Rent

This last weekend, Connections started distributing signs throughout our community. The signs have photographs on them of people who represent the types of people who come to Connections for the Homeless for help. Many of them have children. Many look a lot like you or me or our next door neighbors. The signs all say, in bold letters, “Love Don’t Pay the Rent”...

$2.00 a Day: The Book and the Reality at Connections

In 2011, when Kathy Edin and Luke Shaefer started their work together, “As far as [they] could tell, no one had ever looked to see whether any slice of the American poor fell below the … threshold of $2.00 a day for even part of a year.”  $2.00 per person, per day, in cash income is one of the metrics that the World Bank uses to measure extreme poverty throughout the world... 

Housing People When We Can, Helping Them When We Can’t

Connections has always worked to incorporate evidence-based practices for addressing homelessness into our work and into our decisions on how to best employ the resources with which we have been entrusted. Sometimes, though, we are faced with making tough choices. Most recently, last July, we had to choose which of our programs we would keep running when it became clear that funding from the State of Illinois would not be available...

Housing First and Why It's the Ideal Solution

Research shows that the best way to help someone who is homeless is to provide housing – as immediately as possible. The longer someone is homeless, the more that person loses.  They lose connection with their families, friends and community, they lose their physical and mental health, and they lose all or nearly all of their worldly possessions.  The longer someone is homeless, the more difficult it is for that person to regain long-term stability. Housing First is based on the premise that stable housing is one of the most basic needs that must be met before a person can begin to address other problems. 

Understanding Connections' Services

As I’ve met and talked with donors and volunteers at all levels, I’ve noticed that they often don’t have a complete understanding of all the services that Connections provides. Before I share our long-term vision for Connections, I think it is important to clearly explain how we are currently serving individuals and families facing homelessness.