Sustainable Solutions for Housing Stability – Addressing Critical Needs

Understanding the formidable challenges confronting Cook County in the fight against homelessness, the Trust is offering this funding opportunity aimed at bolstering community organizations within the homeless service sector. 

RFP Release: March 25, 2024
Info Session: View the Recording
LOI Deadline: April 18, 2024 at 11:59 p.m.  CT
Full Application Deadline: June 24, 2024 at 11:59 p.m.  CT
Funding Decision: Late July
Announcement: Late August


A profound dedication to tackling economic disparities lies at the heart of the Trust’s mission, recognizing that our actions today impact our region’s future. Our vision remains steadfast: to cultivate a Chicago region that thrives with equity and connectivity, where every individual, irrespective of race, location, or identity, can realize their full potential. Central to our Addressing Critical Needs strategy is the recognition that access to stable, healthy, and secure housing is fundamental in paving the way toward stability for individuals and families. Understanding the formidable challenges confronting Cook County in the fight against homelessness, the Trust is offering this funding opportunity to bolster community organizations within the homeless service sector. Ultimately, the goal is to foster sustainable solutions that promote housing stability and address the root causes of homelessness in Cook County.  

Need/Opportunity Statement

From 2008-2022, Chicago experienced a 35 percent decrease in homelessness according to the point-in-time count numbers, which measure sheltered and unsheltered homelessness on a given day. While this decrease is important to note, it also obscures forms of homelessness not included in the point-in-time count, particularly individuals and families living with friends and families in “doubled-up” situations. In a study done by the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless that includes this broader definition of homelessness, 68,440 people in Chicago were homeless in 2023. That report also highlights that Latine Chicagoans, unaccompanied youth, and families are all more likely to be staying temporarily with others in doubled-up situations than to be staying in shelters or on the street. Moreover, in 2023, Chicago experienced a dramatic increase in homelessness. Comparing the point-in-time count number of total people experiencing homelessness from 2022 to 2023, there was an increase of 63 percent. This dramatic increase is primarily attributed to the more than 35,000 asylum-seekers who have come to Chicago from the southern U.S. border without sponsors. A majority of asylum-seekers experiencing homelessness were Latine (98%) and expressed danger and persecution in their countries of origin (predominantly Venezuela, Colombia, and Ecuador). For non-asylum seekers experiencing homelessness, the majority were Black (69%) and continue to be over-represented, considering Chicago’s overall population is roughly one-third Black.

In 2023, the State of Illinois increased its budget to prevent and end homelessness by $50 million. Both the State and City of Chicago have expanded the number of dedicated leadership positions to focus and coordinate the work. Combined with dedicated resources focused on unsheltered homelessness at the federal level, this is creating momentum for coordinated learning and systems change. The Chicago Community Trust has created this Request for Proposals (RFP) to bolster the work ahead, which requires elevated levels of collaboration, creativity, and innovation to respond to both the challenges and opportunities of this moment.

Goals & Outcomes

The Sustainable Solutions for Housing Stability RFP advances the Trust’s 10-year goal to increase the number of households meeting their basic human needs.  

 The Outcomes and Measures of Progress for applicants will be:  

Expand or Maintain the Scope, Scale and Replication of Services  

  • Changes to deepen participation of underrepresented populations  
  • Expand enrollment in programming  

Increase Organizational Effectiveness  

  • Change in client outcomes  
  • Changes in the use of culturally relevant and aligned services  

Strengthen the Organizational Infrastructure to Provide Services  

  • Changes in services delivery methods to address evolving community needs  
  • Changes in connections to sector partners to build coordinated care networks  

Priority Strategies & Activities

The Sustainable Solutions for Housing Stability RFP aims to allocate resources to assist individuals and families facing homelessness or unstable housing situations. 

Proposed programs and initiatives may include:  

  • Facilitating access to safe, temporary living arrangements, like emergency shelter, that leads to permanent housing.  
  • Employing a housing first philosophy by providing permanent supportive housing or rapid rehousing.  
  • Legal services to prevent eviction and housing discrimination.  
  • Assisting with housing searches and application processes, with a focus on providing cultural and linguistic competency that reduces barriers to securing housing.  
  • Applying research and analysis on housing instability and outlining potential systemic changes.  
  • Supporting people abruptly unhoused, who are hoping to resettle in the region due to a crisis.  
  • Supporting individuals and families living doubled up so that they may secure housing of their own.   
  • Providing gender-affirming care to homeless youth, particularly individuals from the LGBTQ community.  
  • Providing access to public benefits related to housing, utility expenses, and other income supports including benefits for Veterans, older adults and undocumented immigrants.  
  • Building capacity to serve returning residents leaving prisons and jails with housing and wraparound supports tailored to their specific needs.  

Prospective applicants are encouraged to submit proposals outlining impactful programs and innovative strategies aligned with the above objectives. The ultimate goal is to foster sustainable solutions that promote housing stability and address the root causes of homelessness within the Chicago region. 

Grant Type

This one-year funding opportunity will be for general-operating support. Organizations invited to submit a full application will be evaluated based on their capacity to provide services rooted in best practices that meet the priority strategies outlined in this funding program. 

Grant Amounts Available & Grant Term

Grant recipients are expected to meet the Trust’s requirements for submitting financial and narrative reports at the end of the grant cycle. The Trust will award up to 20 grants between $75,000 and $150,000. 

For More Information

Please visit GrantCentral, The Chicago Community Trust’s online grants management system, to view the criteria and access the application for this RFP.

If you have additional questions, contact the Addressing Critical Needs team at

How to Apply

The Trust awards grants to organizations whose work is consistent with our mission and our current priorities. Learn about the application process and eligibility.

How to Apply

What We Fund

Our grants are not just checks, not just points on a map. Our grants are lifelines, connecting individual donors with people and families striving for a better life.

What We Fund