Our History and Mission
The Alliance to End Homelessness in Suburban Cook County coordinates the Cook County Continuum of Care (IL-511), which encompasses homeless assistance efforts throughout all of Cook County except for the city of Chicago. Established in 1997 as the Task Force on Homelessness, the group changed its name and formally incorporated in August 2004. To shift its focus from managing homelessness to ending homelessness in our county, the Alliance also hired a full-time staff and secured nonprofit 501(c)(3) status in 2005.
As the lead agency for suburban Cook County’s Continuum of Care, the Alliance brings together a range of services and housing options for homeless people. The Alliance convenes a variety of stakeholders to cooperatively set priorities, collect data, rank project applications, and measure outcomes. In coordinating the annual application to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for homeless assistance grants, the Alliance brings in approximately $9 million per year to support over fifty homeless programs in the region.
The Alliance organizes its work at the local grassroots level into three Community Based Service Areas (CBSAs) for Homeless Assistance. These CBSAs—serving the north, west, and south areas of suburban Cook County—form a collaborative homeless assistance information, referral, shelter, and service delivery system within their local communities. The CBSAs have been instrumental in the overall development and implementation of the Continuum of Care strategy.
The mission of the Alliance to End Homelessness is to strive for the elimination of homelessness in suburban Cook County through the coordination and maximization of available resources to assist homeless individuals and families. The Alliance serves as a convener for the collaborative, community-based endeavors of homeless service providers, affordable housing developers, local governments, foundations, and the private sector.