One Roof Chicago
One Roof Chicago

ABOUT US

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WHY?

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. 


  • LGBTQ+ youth are at more than double the risk of homelessness compared to non-LGBTQ+ peers. As many as 40% of homeless youth at any given time identify as LGBTQ+. Nearly a quarter of LGBTQ black youth aged 18-25 experience homelessness. A 2018 study of LGBTQ homeless youth by Chapin Hall identifies a “critical” need for new efforts that “integrate safe spaces, rapid and sustained exits from homelessness, positive adult connections, and culturally attuned mental and physical health supports… that recognize and reinforce their strengths and personal agency.”
  • More than half of people living with HIV in the US are over 50 years old. They are at acute risk of "immune exhaustion," experiencing age-related conditions decades earlier than HIV-negative people. 
  • For LGBTQ+ seniors regardless of HIV status, 78% entering long term care (LTC) facilities go back in the closet; 23% in LTC facilities have experienced verbal or physical harassment from staff and/or other residents. LGBTQ+ seniors are 3-4x less likely to have children and are twice as likely to age alone. Three quarters are concerned about social support systems to rely on as they age.
  • As the US Baby Boom generation enters old age, there is an imminent dramatic shortage of all types of health care workers, especially those in long-term care settings. In 2030 this labor shortage may reach over 150,000 workers, more than doubling again by 2040.

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

WHAT?

One Roof Chicago is a new 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:

  • Mixed income housing for LGBTQ+ seniors, as well as older adults living with HIV -- including both low-income and market-rate units and a continuum of care as residents’ needs for assistance increase
  • Supportive housing at the same site for LGBTQ+ youth aged 18-24
  • Focused job training for the youth in culturally competent senior care and a career ladder in a rapidly growing sector of the economy

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.

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HOW?

For the past year we have been incubated at Pride Action Tank, a program of the AIDS Foundation of Chicago; we are incorporated in the State of Illinois, and are applying for non-profit 501(c)(3) status. 


We are now in pre-development, with seed funding from the National Equity Fund; we are exploring feasibility with Full Circle Communities as our development partner (see below). 


We are working with Morten Group to collect responses to a market survey; we are also convening an ongoing series of community visioning meetings to shape the project, including site selection, unit mix, and prioritized services and amenities.

WHO?

One Roof Chicago is being planned by a small group of LGBTQ+ professionals who bring a strong commitment and an array of strengths to the table. Our founding board members* are: 

David Alfini, Esq. (Secretary) – Hinshaw & Culbertson

Anthony Armstrong – Howard Brown Health

Jacqueline Boyd (Vice Chair) – The Care Plan

Pamela Calvert (Founder and Chair) – W. Clement & Jessie V. Stone Foundation

Dan Churchill (Treasurer) – The Admiral at the Lake/Kendal

Kim Hunt – Pride Action Tank

Kelly Rice – Howard Brown Health 

Terry Vanden Hoek – UI Health


Jim Bennett, Illinois Department of Human Rights - founding trustee emeritus

*affiliations for identification only


PARTNERSHIPS

One Roof Chicago's mothership has been Pride Action Tank, a program of the AIDS Foundation of Chicago. PAT is providing staff support, meeting facilitation, and technical assistance from members of its OUTAging Committee; AFC is providing research and analysis support with the community survey.


Our 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. Their innovative model is based on dedicating at least 75% of their development fee to service provision for residents. Together we will explore project feasibility, including securing a site, a financing plan, and identifying the full development team; at that point we will sign a binding MOU.


We are proud to announce that we will be collaborating 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 will be 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.  One Roof Chicago is a partner in the Chicago Continuum of Care's Coordinated Community Plan to end and prevent youth homelessness in the City of Chicago.

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