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Calling All Volunteers!

You CAN make a positive difference in the lives of Chicagoans facing homelessness and hunger. Learn more about volunteer opportunities with CHI.

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OUR GUESTS ARE IN DIRE NEED OF WARM CLOTHING! Can you help? We’re seeking groups and individuals who can host a clothing drive for us. We can drop off a collection box for you to put in your lobby or business to collect coats, sweaters, mittens and other winter essentials. We will collect the box and distribute the items at our meal. Contact for more information and to sign up!

Website Ihave Aname

I Have a Name” gives voice to Chicagoans experiencing homelessness while capturing the work of the Chicago Help Initiative and its partners

Email for ways to view the documentary and attend a live Q&A. Watch the trailer.

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Amazon Smile

A portion of your Amazon purchases can help support CHI! Select Chicago Help Initiative and go to AMAZON SMILE every time you shop

We provide nutritious meals and support for people experiencing hunger and homelessness in Chicago.

Feeding Hope

CHI is hiring: We are looking for a new program manager for our New Foundations Program. Interested? Click here for the Job description.

Can you join us in our efforts to alleviate hunger and homelessness in Chicago?

The pandemic has changed the pattern of volunteering for many organizations – and that includes CHI and our partners.

CHI is truly a community organization – we have always been volunteer rich while being staff lean. We have been successful not just because we reflect our community, but because we are the community.

However, the decrease in regular volunteers has meant that we are reopening slower than we could be at a time when we are needed more than ever. And the same is true of other organizations that we work with.

We need volunteers! To help serve meals, make bag meals and pick up meals. To become tutors in our adult learning program and mentors in our jobs club and art group. To relaunch our yoga and choir programs.

If you’ve thought that perhaps you should pitch in – once a week, once a month, whatever works for you – now would be a great time to do it!

And, as we enter 2023, we will need more companies, groups and restaurants to sponsor and serve our weekly meals.

Let us hear from you! Click here and let us know how you’d like to help.

2022 Highlights of our Services and New Programs

We’ve reopened our weekly Wednesday meals to in-person, sit-down service! This is the way to bring isolated people into a trusted communal setting.

We’ve restarted our book club, short stories workshop, computer club, knitting group and theater group. These are the key ways CHI connects people to each other.

Our New Foundations program allows us to work with the partners we formed during the pandemic to bring similar services into their meals. This includes training their volunteers and increasing the access of people experiencing homelessness to the resources they need to move forward!

Our New Kitchens initiative expands the pool of restaurants and caterers we partner with, and includes South Side and West Side start-ups that are also working in their neighborhoods to add jobs and opportunities.

Our new theatre workshop, led by the Lookingglass Theatre, gives our guests an opportunity to express their authentic voices, explore their creativity, and share their life experiences in one of the most enduring forms of storytelling: live performance!

The CHI Community Garden was launched this past Spring to provide garden plots to our guests who want to grow their own food, and build lasting relationships with the land and each other.

Want to get involved? Drop us a line and let us know how you want to help!

Featured Program

Our Meals

Every Wednesday, we provide a free, nutritious, full-course meal, prepared by local restaurants, to our 130 guests in the dining room at Catholic Charities, at 721 N. Lasalle St. in Chicago. We also provide an additional 70 take-away meals to people who are unable to join us in the dining room.

Learn More

Thank you to our partners and sponsors!

Café Baci
Benny's Chop House
Eli's Cheesecake
Gene & Georgetti
Greek Kitchen
Hyatt Centric
Northwestern Medicine
Site Chicago
Texas de Brazil

Marc Schulman, President of Eli's Cheesecake and longtime restaurant partner and sponsor of The Chicago Help Initiative speaks about the positive impact CHI makes in people's lives.

From Our Blog

Chi Holiday Bazaar Holiday Table


CHI’s Holiday Bazaar 2022 Brings the Spirit of Giving to Our Guests

CHI's 2022 Holiday Bazaar, held on December 7th in the dining room at Catholic Charities was a great success. We...
Read More

Chi Fb Collage 2022


Our Fall/Winter 2022 News

A hot meal. Warm socks. A kind word. These might seem like small things...until you don’t have them, and then...
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Our Summer 2022 News

CHI's Feeding Hope Gala Returns to Chicago Sports Museum on Sept. 15thWe're excited to announce that, due to popular demand...
Read More

Did you know?


of the people we serve are military service veterans.

Goodness. All-encompassing goodness. In a world filled with so many who have so little, they give so much.”