Help The Chicago Help Initiative Raise $5000 to Cover Meals and Services for Chicago’s Homeless

The Chicago Help Initiative (CHI) is a local nonprofit organization that for 16 years has provided nutritious meals and access to social services to homeless and low-income individuals in Chicago’s downtown. CHI is funded by individuals, companies, organizations and foundations from the same neighborhoods where we assist.

Every Wednesday, CHI serves a hot, healthy five-course meal in a dignified dining room setting to more than 130 people in need. We also provide an additional 70 take-away meals to people who aren’t able to join our sit-down dinner.

Our dinners aren’t just about the food. Every week, our guests have the opportunity to access job training information, meet with a nurse practitioner, talk with social workers, and participate in one-on-one tutoring in our adult learning program. Each week we also feature a guest speaker from one of our many health and social service partner organizations on topics of interest to our guests. We don’t try to recreate resources that already exist; our mission is to connect the people we serve with the agencies and organizations that already do it best, and to provide a welcoming venue in which to make those vital connections.

We know we can’t make someone change his or her life. But we can offer the right tools that will make a positive difference in the lives of people who want to use them. And at every meal we are privileged to see individuals reach out and connect and aspire to something different than where they are today.

We also take that approach outside the dinner, with outreach walks where our volunteers distribute our pocket Resource Guide, now used by over a dozen other organizations as well, that connects a person in need to locations where they can receive hot meals seven days a week, obtain free groceries, find the best job training in the city, and connect to social services that can help start the process for securing housing.

Please consider making a contribution for Giving Tuesday, November 29, that will help us sustain our works with Chicagoans in need. We are a 501c3 not-for-profit organization. Our goal is to raise $5000 by our deadline of midnight, November 29 to cover the costs of our meals and programs into 2017. This is what your contribution will enable:

  • $1000 covers the cost of our social work services for the evening and next-day follow-up for a month
  • $650 covers the cost of the food we serve for 130 people at an evening meal.
  • $250 covers the cost of coffee, utensils and security personnel at a meal.
  • $150 covers the cost of bag meals for the overflow crowd.
  • $50 covers the cost of adding a small dessert item to a meal.

To make a donation, please click here.

For a copy of our IRS form 990 and FEINplease click here.

We hope you’ll join us. The best way to learn about CHI is to volunteer:

Sign up to serve a meal

Guidelines for New Volunteers

Please let us know if we can answer any questions:

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Did you know?


of the people we serve are military service veterans.

Nobody should go hungry. With the Chicago Help Initiative, you don’t have to.”