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New Foundations

CHI’s New Foundations Program connects our guests to resources that can contribute to their greater independence and resiliency.

Often, the barriers our guests face are simply access to a computer and a patient, skilled guide to help with often tiresome applications for services and assistance they need. Now, thanks to the volunteers in our New Foundations program, our guests get the help they need to successfully complete the application process.

Deployed during our weekly Wednesday meals, the New Foundations program enables any guest to apply for Medicaid and SNAP benefits, get placed on the city’s housing lists, qualify for a free cell phone, obtain a new State ID, and apply for rental and utility assistance.

We are now expanding our New Foundations Program to other partner organizations, primarily churches that offer similar meals to ours. See our map for other locations in downtown Chicago where people can find assistance.

We need more volunteers to sign up and help our partners during the week. We are especially in need of Spanish-speaking volunteers on Tuesday mornings.

No previous experience with these applications is needed—just a willingness to learn and a desire to support our neighbors in need in accessing resources in the community.

If you can spare a few hours a week and want to help our guests access the services they need to thrive, please email CHI at for more information.

Did you know?

30% of Chicago’s homeless population suffers from mental illness.

A lot of people don’t have shelter, food, clothing. They need help. And they get it here.”