Addressing Critical Needs

Supporting essential service organizations that are addressing the most urgent and immediate needs of individuals and families across our region.

Overview

Addressing our communities’ critical needs has been a foundational part of the Trust’s work for over a century—and it always will be.

The Opportunity 

From housing insecurity to lack of access to healthy food, too many families in Chicago face unstable or unsafe living circumstances. That is why the Trust supports service organizations that attend to the critical needs of individuals and families throughout our region.

Ending homelessness, advancing the rights of people with disabilities, and preventing violence provides stability to residents and improves their wellbeing. By focusing on essential needs, the Trust aims to create the conditions that allow everyone to participate more fully in, and contribute to, our region’s prosperity. 

Our Approach

The Trust awards competitive grants for general operating support, as well as responsive grants to address specific community needs or opportunities.

How It Works

Whether through stable housing, access to healthy food and mental health services, or safety from violence and abuse—we are providing essential lifelines to our neighbors at critical moments in their lives. Through our support of organizations that provide direct services, we are working to ensure everyone has access to resources and opportunities that enable them to thrive.

The Trust recognizes the value and complexity of caregiving. We support organizations using family-centered or intergenerational approaches to improve outcomes for children and youth (ages 0-24) facing trauma, people with disabilities who are seeking increased opportunities for employment or education, and low-income aging adults who need supportive services. The racial and ethnic wealth gap impacts all parts of life, including our ability as a society to care for each other and promote wellbeing. For these reasons, we prioritize place-based organizations in Black and Latinx communities, groups that are led by people of color, and organizations that advance community-led solutions.

The Trust knows that we cannot effect lasting change through programmatic intervention alone. Therefore, we provide resources to organizations working across programs and sectors to innovate new models and solutions, effect systemic change, and strengthen the social impact sector.

  • Whether through stable housing, access to healthy food and mental health services, or safety from violence and abuse—we are providing essential lifelines to our neighbors at critical moments in their lives. Through our support of organizations that provide direct services, we are working to ensure everyone has access to resources and opportunities that enable them to thrive.

  • The Trust recognizes the value and complexity of caregiving. We support organizations using family-centered or intergenerational approaches to improve outcomes for children and youth (ages 0-24) facing trauma, people with disabilities who are seeking increased opportunities for employment or education, and low-income aging adults who need supportive services. The racial and ethnic wealth gap impacts all parts of life, including our ability as a society to care for each other and promote wellbeing. For these reasons, we prioritize place-based organizations in Black and Latinx communities, groups that are led by people of color, and organizations that advance community-led solutions.

  • The Trust knows that we cannot effect lasting change through programmatic intervention alone. Therefore, we provide resources to organizations working across programs and sectors to innovate new models and solutions, effect systemic change, and strengthen the social impact sector.

  • Addressing Critical Needs

How You Can Take Action 

Interested in learning more or partnering with us?

Please contact Anna Lee, Senior Director of Community Impact, at alee@cct.org, or Joan Garvey-Lundgren, Senior Director of Resource Development, at jgarveylundgren@cct.org. 

Explore Recent Funding

Our Team

  • Jai Jones

    Project Specialist for the Partnership for Safe and Peaceful Communities

    Jaquanda ‘Jai’ Jones is the project specialist for the Partnership for Safe and Peaceful Communities. She oversees the strategy and dissemination of the $1.5M Chicago…

  • Anna Lee

    Senior Director of Community Impact

    Anna Lee is senior director of community impact at The Chicago Community Trust. In this role, Anna leads the Trust’s Addressing Critical Needs strategy, which…

  • Jessica Omana

    Impact Coordinator

    Jessica Omana is the impact coordinator for the Addressing Critical Needs strategy and Learning & Impact team at The Chicago Community Trust. In this role,…

  • Joanne Otte

    Program Manager

    Joanne Otte is program manager at The Chicago Community Trust. In this role, she manages the Promoting Wellbeing and Building Pathways to Stability portfolios for…