The Boulevard of Chicago provides high quality, cost-effective medical respite care, holistic support and housing services to help ill and injured homeless adults break the cycle of homelessness, restore their health and rebuild their lives.
The Boulevard of Chicago will serve more homeless individuals and improve their lives by minimizing the impact of illness and injury and affirming the link between health care continuity and stable housing.
"Thanks to The Boulevard I received the keys I needed– not only to my own apartment but to my own life."
More than 25 years ago, our founders witnessed thousands of people with medical injuries coming into the shelters across the city with nowhere to go to recover. In order to break the cycle of homelessness, these individuals needed a place to recover and the opportunity to move on to stable housing. Formerly known as Interfaith House, The Boulevard was founded in 1994 as the answer to this critical need.
Today we are the only organization in Illinois that provides a full range of resources for holistic human healing.
Since 1994, we’ve helped nearly 10,500 men and women start a new life. Meet our former clients and hear their stories.
In 2020, Shaun’s mother and sister passed away. He lost his entire immediate family, and he became homeless. It was too difficult for him to manage the loss and his health quickly deteriorated. As a result, he was hospitalized. When it was time to be released from the hospital, Shaun had no home to return to. Therefore, the hospital referred him to The Boulevard of Chicago.
In addition to caring for clients at its Chicago facility, The Boulevard serves residents of the Lake Street Studios, a supportive housing development on Chicago’s Near West Side. Mr. Richard has resided at Lake Street Studios since its opening in 2015.
At age 25, Kirsten was happily living in her own apartment in Columbus, Indiana, and studying to be a nurse. Then she was diagnosed with lupus, and her life became difficult more quickly than she could have ever imagined. After Kirsten became too ill to work, she eventually lost her job and apartment. Eventually, her doctor referred her to The Boulevard.
Diana, a divorced mom with children, worked at a hospital in Northwest Indiana. She lost her health, her job, her home, and then her children. Diana didn’t realize she had heart problems. Her doctor ordered a pacemaker to forestall even more serious problems. While convalescing, Diana lost her job, and with it her health insurance.
The Boulevard not only improves physical heath, but strengthens the spirit by bringing residents closer to God. Glenn had been using drugs for 40 years and homeless for several years before attending The Boulevard. He was once blind with cataracts, and could not be treated until he passed a tox screen.
We all have a history. When Francisco visited The Boulevard a few weeks ago, he told us his story. “I was out on the street, homeless – drug addict. Using whatever I could find to get euphoria. I was living in the park, going through trash… was just going from hand to mouth begging and trying to get handouts. How did I get there? Peer pressure – hang with the guys and do what they were doing. I was in my late 20s when drug use started.” That was back in 1995.
The recession left Ken, a union construction worker, out of work and without a place to live. He finally secured a job at a local hardware store only to be hit by a car on his way home from work. He was able to come to The Boulevard and recuperate while putting his life back together.
A long history of alcohol abuse and chronic illness landed Denise in the hospital. Thankfully she was discharged to The Boulevard, where she received a second chance.
Although Donald was working, the compensation was not enough to afford a home. Suffering from poorly managed diabetes and hypertension, he eventually had a stroke, which sent him to the hospital and from there to the Boulevard.
For her whole life Beverly felt alone – suffering from a chronic illness without the support of a community. Upon arriving at The Boulevard, she felt instantly connected to the residents around her.
It was a warm July day and Jake Starks, the first Executive Director at The Boulevard of Chicago (when it was still named Interfaith House) and a skeleton crew were working hard, preparing for the opening day scheduled in two weeks. The plan was to open in stages with men coming first and occupying the first floor, followed by women who would live on the second floor. The staff was in the process of getting the kitchen cleaned and in working order, but there was no food service yet.
These are just some of thousands of women and men who have been able to rebuild their lives because of The Boulevard since we opened our doors in 1994.
Please help us keep those doors open in the years ahead by making a donation today.