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About the Chicago Help Initiative

In November of 1999, Jacqueline C. Hayes invited various organizations to work together to address concerns regarding the increasing number of homeless in the area and to provide a united effort to ease the plight of the disadvantaged. In 2000 the not-for-profit known as Help Ease Local Poverty (HELP) was incorporated to address those concerns, and its programs operated continuously for almost 11 years.

Now the country’s economic conditions have worsened, and the same individuals who started HELP have stepped up to assist not only the homeless and the disadvantaged, but also those who have lost their jobs or homes. In June 2011, CHI was incorporated as an Illinois not-for-profit organization and in September 2011 was recognized as a 501(c)(3) organization. CHI’s programs serve those in need within the boundaries of Randolph Street to the south, Division Street to the north, Lake Michigan to the east and the Chicago River to the west.

Learn more about CHI programs

Our Mission

The Chicago Help Initiative (CHI) is a consortium of business, residential, religious, social service, institutional and volunteer leaders striving to promote an atmosphere of dignity and compassion toward those in need by providing access to food, health services, shelter and employment. CHI works to educate local businesses and residents as to how they can help ease the plight of the homeless, disadvantaged and out of work individuals and improve their well-being, self esteem and productivity.


Bike Fair

Bike Fair

Members of Working Bikes Cooperative collect abandoned bikes throughout the city. The bikes are refurbished and donated to worthy causes – and CHI is… Read More
Health Services

Health Services

The Chicago Help Initiative offers the following programs to our program participants: HIV and Hepatitis C Testing The Night Ministry conducts free HIV and Hepatitis… Read More
Holiday Gift Certificates

Holiday Gift Certificates

One of our favorite projects is the distribution of the annual Holiday Gift certificates, which allows our guests to buy items that they personally… Read More