Chicago's LGBTQ+ community is facing pressing needs at both ends of the lifespan: a crisis in youth homelessness, accelerated aging among people living with HIV, and an acute lack of culturally competent support for seniors.
One Roof Chicago is an emerging initiative to build a welcoming and inclusive intergenerational community for older adults and young people most in need of affirming housing, meaningful connection, and career development. One Roof Chicago will combine:
At the core of the project is the home, a place where LGBTQ+ older adults can age in safety, comfort and with the knowledge that they are accepted and celebrated. LGBTQ+ young people likewise will have the security of their own space with resources and mentorship available to make their goals a reality. One Roof Chicago will be an inclusive environment where LGBTQ+ residents can thrive, surrounded by valued community and supported by culturally competent service providers.
One Roof Chicago is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization incorporated in the state of Illinois.
We are in pre-development, with seed funding from the National Equity Fund, the Youth Homelessness Innovation Fund, the Chicago Foundation for Women, Howard Brown Health, and private donors. We worked with the Prim Lawrence Group to develop a full project summary.
The team envisions that within 3-5 years the One Roof Chicago home will be breaking ground with a sustainable operating and funding plan for long-term success, in a process characterized at every stage by stakeholder inclusion, engagement, and investment.
One Roof Chicago's development partner is Full Circle Communities, a non-profit affordable housing developer with a track record of building and managing properties for seniors and LGBTQ+ youth. FCC owns more than 800 units in three states, with another 250 approved or under construction. Together we are exploring project feasibility, including securing a site, a financing plan, and identifying the full development team. Our project architect is Worn Jerabek Wiltse Architects, P.C., specializing in affordable housing and long-term healthcare.
We collaborated with youth powerhouse Ignite on a year-long youth-driven process to design our youth programming, thanks to the support of the Youth Homelessness Innovation Fund. The project was facilitated by Open Door Advisors.
We also have the support of SAGE’s National LGBT Elder Housing Initiative staff, who have provided extensive planning tools and introductions to financing entities.
Pro bono legal services are being provided by the University of Chicago's Housing Initiative Transactional Clinic.
One Roof Chicago is governed by a volunteer board of directors, who are all members of the Chicago LGBTQ+ community and bring a strong commitment and an array of strengths to the table. Our board members* are:
David Alfini, Esq. – Hinshaw & Culbertson
Anthony Armstrong – Howard Brown Health
Donald M. Bell
Becca Bernstein – Svara
Jacqueline Boyd (Co-Chair) – The Care Plan
Pamela Calvert (Co-Chair) – W. Clement & Jessie V. Stone Foundation
Paviella Foster, Ph.D. – Howard Brown Health
Kim Hunt – Pride Action Tank
cathy knight (Secretary)
Janice Layne (Treasurer) – Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center
Peter Mathison – National Equity Fund
Kelly Rice – Howard Brown Health
*affiliations for identification only