Homeless Youth & Adult Programs

Ujima Michael Brown, Aaron Williams2

BreevEazie, a professional, positive hip hop artist works with Michael and Aaron, Ujima residents, on creating music. Aaron has successfully moved on from Ujima to a youth transitional living program and is now attending barber college.

Ujima Village is a low threshold emergency shelter with 24 beds for homeless, single youth and young adults, ages 18-24, located in Chicago’s Greater Grand Crossing neighborhood (where it intersects with Englewood and Auburn Gresham). Opening in August 2013, this is the first youth shelter to be located on Chicago’s Southside in many decades. Youth receive two meals a day, dinner and breakfast, and have access to showers and laundry. Youth additionally receive support and encouragement from staff to accept referrals for job training, education, healthcare and more stable housing options. Low threshold programs are often a port of entry to social services for street-based youth.

A sleeping room in the Ujima Village Emergency Youth Shelter.

A sleeping room in the Ujima Village Emergency Youth Shelter.

Umoja Village provides permanent supportive housing in individual, scattered site, apartments for ten, 18-24 year old, male and female homeless youth in Chicago’s Woodlawn and Auburn Gresham neighborhoods. These youth have a range of disabilities that include mental illness, developmental or intellectual disabilities, physical disabilities, HIV/AIDS, and/or chronic substance abuse and many of them have been homeless for long periods of time prior to coming to live in this program.

The kitchen of an Umoja Village apartment, which provides permanent supportive housing for homeless youth with disabilities.

The kitchen of an Umoja Village apartment, which provides permanent supportive housing for homeless youth with disabilities.

Harmony Village is a transitional living program, located in Chicago’s Auburn Gresham neighborhood for homeless youth, ages 18-24. The program provides 28 safe, pleasant apartments in the same building with 24 hour supportive services staff. Most youth who reside in this program are homeless teen moms with their babies. Residents may reside in the program for up to two years and participate in intensive case management, work readiness, life skills and parenting education, preparing them for independent adulthood. Youth are also encouraged in this program to complete or advance their educational attainment while in this program. Over the years Harmony has helped many youth complete high school, trade school, and/or community college.

Harmony Leslie Roberts2

Harmony Village resident, Leslie, with her baby.

Harmony Village Youth Transitional Living Program provides housing and supportive services for up to nearly 60 teen moms, their children, single youth and couples.

Harmony Village Youth Transitional Living Program provides housing and supportive services for up to nearly 60 teen moms, their children, single youth and couples.

Photo Harmony Quebalea working correction1

Harmony Village helps support youth in finding employment. Harmony resident, Quebalea, works for the Chicago Public Schools in the Safe Passage program.

Project Ignite is a two-year transitional, scattered site apartment program for seven homeless youth or homeless youth heads of households, ages 18-24, who are living with HIV or AIDS. The apartments are located in Chicago’s Woodlawn and Englewood neighborhoods. Youth receive safe, stable housing, linkage to specialized medical treatment, case management, counselling, life skills, education and employment preparation, and substance abuse education, as well as linkages to other mainstream services.

Focus Hope I and II are two scattered site, permanent supportive housing programs serving nearly 50 disabled, homeless adults and families headed by a homeless, disabled person, or a homeless person with special needs. Individuals and families are provided intensive case management and supportive services to designed to help them maintain their health and stability as well as reduce future hospitalizations.