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Help the Needy Organization offers housing referral assistance to homeless individuals and families. Delivery of these services for this program is managed and delivered through relationships with private, federal and stage agencies.

If you are homeless or about to be homeless, you can contact us by completing this form Online Request for Homeless Assistance.  A representative will contact you.  The Helpline is the "front door" to available resources in our community network. Homeless individuals and families will be assessed according to their needs, vulnerabilities, and availability of resources, then directed to immediate services and assistance, depending upon availability of such resources. 
For more information and request for homeless services, please complete  the

Online Request for Homeless Assistance


Sometimes people fall on hard times and they have nowhere left to go. When this happens, many people turn to homeless shelters so that they have a place to live temporarily. People can stay at these homeless shelters for a short amount of time so that they can get their life back on track and still have a safe place to sleep. Many homeless people take advantage of homeless shelters, not only do homeless shelters provide a safe place to sleep, they also have numerous other services such as job training and soup kitchens to help those who stay there get back on their feet.

Many homeless shelters are non-profit organizations and are often times associated with churches or government. The amount of homeless shelters in the country is growing and the Department of Housing and Urban Development has shown in recent studies that about 6 million Americans qualify to take advantage of these shelters each year. With the growing poverty rate, you can expect these numbers to continue to rise.


The new face of homelessness is families. An estimated 140,000 homeless people live in the city including thousands of public school students in shelters, in tents, in parks or just in whatever place they can find across Chicago. Thousands of homeless people live in small tent villages, spanning the city from in the shadow of North Lake Shore Drive to one on Columbus Drive near downtown. Still others sleep on park benches and on the banks of the Chicago River.

The challenge to address these situations may be as ancient as the Old Testament, but the new face of homelessness is far younger. Chicago Public Schools keeps track of how many students are homeless. Last year there were over 22,000 homeless students.

That count is up nearly 20-percent from the year before. Last year there were 2,500 students who have no adult in their life and still go to school. 

Registration is required to take advantage of our housing referral services.  Please complete the Online Request for Homeless Assistance to start the process.

Help the Needy Organization does not own or operate shelters, but instead partners with local shelters and rehabilitative facilities in the communities we serve. If you are in need of emergency housing or other support, please turn to the resources below.


If you are facing homelessness in the coming days or weeks, please visit the National Shelter Directory page where you can find a local program for shelter and assistance.


- If you are a US Veteran, please see assistance and resources available here

   or call 1-877-4AID-VET (1-877-424-3838) to access VA services.

- Mesothelioma for Veterans, Please click below:

- Business Services for Veterans to start a business and get help with your business financing:
  Office of Veterans Business Development (OVBD)  and get help to grow your business at

Youth Resources


If you are a teenager and are thinking about running away from home, or if you are already living on the streets, call the National Runaway Switchboard. The Switchboard is a toll free, confidential hotline. Dial 1-800-RUNAWAY or 1-800-786-2929

Additional resources for teenagers:

Addiction and Recovery


For substance abuse and recovery assistance please call 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or visit here to find a treatment facility in your area.

Suicide Prevention Hotline


If you are thinking about harming yourself or know someone who is, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255 or text CONNECT to 741741 in the United States.

To find a crisis center please visit here.

Facing Imminent Homelessness


If you only have a few days before you may become homeless, it is helpful to start making plans. The goal should be either to avoid going to an emergency shelter, or, if that can’t be avoided, to make your stay there as short as possible. Depending on how much time you have before you might become homeless, try one or all of the suggestions (such as applying for housing, making an emergency pack, etc) from the National Coalition for the Homelessness.

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