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News: Housing

Finding a safe haven

May 8, 2018

By Raven Feagins When Rex Gaimari was homeless, he was constantly concerned about his safety. He was in and out of shelters for about 3 years, which was the direct result of losing the home he shared with his mom. Rex had been her caretaker for years, but when she passed away he needed to find a new place to live. He tried several times to move in with extended family, but nothing ever...
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Too focused on survival to be sick

February 1, 2018

By Raven Feagins When the weather is nice, Donald King bikes over to Lake Michigan to go fishing. It brings him back to memories of his childhood in New Orleans and spending time with his mother before she passed away. His charming smile and laid-back personality could fool anyone into thinking that he has lived an easygoing life, but he’s had an arduous journey that has led him to...
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Hey, America: your high rents are hurting people’s health

January 17, 2018

By Brian Solem Housing and health are inseparably linked. You’re more likely to be in consistently good health if your housing costs (rent or mortgage plus utilities, groceries and other household needs) take up a limited slice ( 30% by most estimates ) of your overall budget. If you are barely making ends meet, your health might show it, and you become more susceptible to unstable...
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Finding a place to call home

January 4, 2018

By Raven Feagins Until the age of 45, Latesha never had a place of her own. For years, she relied on friends and acquaintances to have a safe place to sleep at night, but, when she wasn’t lucky enough to find someone to stay with, she resorted to sleeping on the streets of Chicago. “I was always here, here, here and here. Each time there were setbacks after setbacks,”...
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When a caregiver cares for herself, too

December 20, 2017

By Raven Feagins Veronica* is the loving matriarch of her Chicago-area family. When she’s not taking care of two of her grandchildren, her mom and her aunt, she works as a talented seamstress. She’s open with her family about most things - except her own health status. Veronica is living with HIV and has for the past 20 years. Most of her family, except her husband, don’t...
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Experimental housing programs change lives and prove their worth

October 17, 2017

Few things can more negatively impact a person’s long-term health than being homeless or unstably housed. Fortunately for 100 homeless and chronically ill Chicagoans, there is hope. Two experimental housing programs led by AFC’s Center for Housing and Health (CHH) offer those Chicagoans a fresh start. CHH is also looking beyond those 100 people whose lives are being transformed...
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Soaring into stability with people who care

August 3, 2017

by Raven Feagins Millions of people across the country are unable to work most jobs and earn an income due to disability or other challenges. For these folks, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) are available to help supplement, but the application process is known for being nearly impossible to navigate. This inspired the creation of the...
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Ava's Change4Youth collects votes to raise visual awareness of youth homelessness

April 19, 2017

Young activist Ava Santos-Volpe, age 12, is a girl on a mission. While working on a class leadership project two years ago, Ava asked a youth homelessness advocate to visit her school to discuss Chicago’s youth housing crisis. After learning more, Ava decided she needed to help — but didn't know how. That summer, while on a family trip to Florida, she spotted a parking meter collecting...
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Amplified: Out of the ER and into stable housing

March 5, 2017

This article highlights the successes the AIDS Foundation of Chicago achieved in 2016. Read more about our work in our  Annual Report . Glenn Baker is a 44-year-old Chicago native who currently works doing food prep for a catering company. He has a very calm demeanor, tends to keep to himself and is even self-described as anti-social. However, Baker's magnetic personality...
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Pharoh empowers youth experiencing homelessness

February 24, 2017

by Raven Feagins Pharoh Swain is a soft-spoken, yet passionate young person from Chicago's West Side. I met with this 22-year-old for the first time in the lobby of Center on Halsted, where he formerly worked as an intern during the summer. Now, Swain currently serves as president of the new All Chicago Youth Advisory Council, which seeks to guide organizations to better understand...
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