When the COVID stay-at-home order was issued, thousands of homeless people – most from hard-hit Chicago neighborhoods -- had nowhere to safely shelter. Vulnerable to illness, homeless Chicagoans remained on the streets or crowded into unsafe, close quarters.
But throughout the crisis, The Boulevard has remained a place of shelter, compassion, and healing for homeless individuals needing a place to recover. Keeping safety and long-term impact at the center of decision-making, our dedicated staff quickly modified our House and programs so we could continue to provide a home to dozens of homeless adults recuperating from illness or injury.
The Boulevard is the only medical respite for homeless adults in Illinois – and a national leader for 26 years. Respite is just the beginning. Our House has an onsite health clinic, employment programs, mental health care, and case management – all helping residents, like Roderick, move from illness to health, and from homelessness to stability.
Outside of the House, The Boulevard provides case management to hundreds of people in supportive housing programs throughout the city. Look inside for more.
None of this can be done without you, our dedicated supporters, partners and volunteers. Your generosity helps our clients heal and achieve stability. You keep our House safe. You help us reach into the community to serve as many homeless individuals as we can. We are so grateful.
In this time of crisis, we need you more than ever. Can you support our mission this year with a generous gift? Please join the Boulevard as, together, we light the path to home.
Thank you for your compassion and support.
Renita White, A.M., L.S.W.
Chief Executive Officer
“They are patient, they want you to succeed and they help you to grow.” That’s how Roderick Woods describes the case managers, medical team and other staff members at The Boulevard of Chicago.
Roderick had lost his job and later his apartment. Although he found a part-time job at a senior center in Bronzeville, it wasn’t enough to pay the bills. He needed a place to live. After exploring options for shelters, he found The Boulevard. “It was picturesque,” Roderick says, “with flowers, trees and people lounging on the patio. It felt like a home.
”When Roderick came to The Boulevard in March 2020, he was suffering from diabetes, partial paralysis and long-term repercussions of a traumatic brain injury. Shortly after he arrived, the COVID-19 stay-at-home order was issued. Roderick is grateful for the staff‘s efforts during that time. “They were incredibly careful about social distancing, masks and safety rules,” he says.
He is also grateful that he had roommates at the Boulevard, who kept him company during what could have been a lonely time.
Since March, Roderick has made tremendous strides. He saw a doctor for the first time in years and, with staff members’ help, started addressing hisdiabetes and other health issues seriously. He began walking as much as he could for both leg strength and overall health, sometimes reaching 14,000 steps a day.
Once COVID restrictions were lifted, Roderick was able to return to his job at the senior center, and even increased his hours. He is now being trained for a promotion to a jobs counselor position. “Roderick loves to work and loves to help people,” says his Boulevard case manager Yolanda Purkett. “He’s also a good teacher, even showing me how to navigate a program on my computer during an assessment meeting!
”The Boulevard’s financial management guidance for residents has helped Roderick save money throughout his time at the House. And now, he’s looking for his own apartment, hoping to move this December.“
The Boulevard helps people like me – and others with so many different kinds of issues. They provide services that are much needed,” Roderick concludes. “The Boulevard gave me a place like home, kept me safe during COVID, and helped me get what I needed to move out on my own.”
Our core residential program provides comprehensive support services to help ill and injured homeless adults restore their health and find stable housing. The House, located in East Garfield Park on the west side, serves approximately 200 residents each year.
Health and Housing Outreach
Boulevard staff members provide intensive case management to 92 individuals living in scattered site apartments provided by the AIDS Foundation of Chicago.
Lake Street Studios.
Boulevard case managers serve 62 people at this permanent supportive housing community developed by Interfaith Housing Development Corporation.
In this new program, Boulevard staff identify and support housing-insecure veterans in a six-month program designed to promote housing stability.
Boulevard employment counselors provide job readiness training, including resume and interview preparation, and link homeless individuals to permanent and sustainable jobs.
Our residents often come to the House with nothing but the clothes on their back. The Boulevard provides all they need. Here’s what your gift can do.
Gifts also go toward meals, transportation, case management services, PPEand other health supplies, facility operations, kitchen and housekeeping staff and supplies, holiday gifts for residents and more.